Thursday, November 10, 2011

breaking yourself

I'll be doing a demo at CTN next Saturday, Nov. 19th beginning at 2pm at the Atrium station.

I'm thinking of going over some of the things I do to break out and stay fresh when designing critters. I play lots of shape games with myself and friends. Quick reflex, random train of thought doodling. Usually leads to some really fun results and also helps loosen up the shoulders for some legit drawing.

The basics are, draw random shapes and intersecting shapes. The best is if other people can draw the shapes for you! (I left this image at scale in case anyone wants to draw into it.)

Then take a basic idea, in this case "horse" and do your best to put the details and symbols of that word into the shapes. The thing is you can not hesitate! It's about brainstorming and allowing the shapes and lines to influence you immediately. If you end up with a page of nonsense that is great.

Then pick out from the chaos the ideas which seem the most appealing. Those will be your base influence as you go into a more thought out design. For this horse I used the bottom right idea above. I delete everything else so it isn't distracting me from the one idea and begin refining it into a new drawing.
Ideally I'd draw at least three drawings from the single idea exploring different ways it could have been pushed further. Usually the first one out, like this guy, is a bit conservative and has too many of the shapes that I've trained myself to draw. I want to break my own training and make something new happen. That's the exciting stuff!

Along those lines, I'm very excited about next week. I'm really hoping anyone who comes by to watch will ask some questions too!


Jessa said...

fascinating process. i am wondering if you tried the same shape but varied your intended outcome stylewise what would you get? for example, same shape but horse as an abstract, horse as impressionist, horse as realistic. one of my very best methods for expanding an idea is to start with a blank sheet and just start making lines of dots with an animal in mind. nothing but lines made of permanent marker dots. sometimes i just start with the eye. it's fascinating what happens.

Katy Hargrove said...

Yep, that is also something I do! Really its about setting simple rules and then pushing them as far as you can. So adding a goal like a different style every time is really good. The goals should change as much as possible to keep things exciting and challenging. Anything that will make you do something you wouldn't have thought up under normal conditions is what I kind of aim for.

Mariano Steiner said...

loved your work Katy!
very cute concepts :)