Thinking about characters…

After looking at many paper theatres, one thing that I have started to think about more is telling a story and introducing characters. I have avoided this so far due to the fact that I don’t want my story to become cartoon-like. In this playful structure however I think the inclusion of these creatures in the scene could work quite well (I feel like they need to move though – which could be a next stage to animate once I have a narrative from doing this paper theatre creation) The characters would be based on the creatures that live inside the rock which include the worms, molluscs, sponges and marine plants. Their movement is a fundamental part of the story of how they create the holes in the rocks, particularly with the molluscs who twist around and drill into the rock with their serrated hard shells. Fantastic Planet will be a huge inspiration for this as I have had this in mind throughout the whole project – I could do stop animation? I want to tell this real story but create a surreal and science- fiction feel through use of colour and sound. Below are some images from Fantastic Planet and a link to the trailer for the film…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCxCZNkQ9E

For now however I am going to draw the creatures to create paper cut out characters, like the ones seen in the pictures above used in Victorian paper theatres. My current thinking is that the characters will be very realistic, based on lots of images of the creatures, because it is their tiny features that are so strange looking and make them so interesting. I might use abstract colours, keeping within the pallet that I have used for the rock paintings, for continuity. However I need to make them stand out subtly from the background which could be down to placement and creating contrast.

UPDATE: After talking about this idea with Anna, I am now thinking of creating the character’s suggestively through shadows and keeping an air of ambiguity. I made a conscious decision so far not to include the creatures in my work and there are reasons for this. One being, I like things to be hidden and there to be missing information so that people can form their own stories about what is happening. However, I might still create the characters to see how this affects what I am doing. I need to think more about how I want to make people feel when they look at my work which is also something I am constantly thinking about while I curate the IN Gallery.

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