4.10.2009

A CHARACTER APPEARS


Back to our images: let’s say this guy below appears in our sketches one day: Who is he? To me he looks tired. You may be young and crazy and love rollercoaster, so to you he looks like a carny. To me, he looks like an angry librarian. Or someone who’s just bowled a very bad score.

A face isn’t a character, and an image isn’t a character, and a character certainly isn’t a list of traits listed like a Dungeons and Dragons report card:
-Personality: angry
-Age: 40ish
-Careful on elevators
-Hit points: 29
-Wears denim and orange sneakers.

They say god is a verb. And so our character must be active. Our characters need to do something, need to WANT something, and need to react to something to be worth paying attention to. Humans and characters are complex.

To that end, we keep adding ideas or images. Here, we’re doodling from our starting place of that FACE from above. We let whatever else come out that wants to come out. Hopefully the character DOING something will emerge. Here, I’ve doodled another image, right.

Or we can throw out some ideas: Maybe he loves to ski. Maybe he’s an architect. Maybe he’s a construction worker. Sure- a crabby construction worker who plays piano.

But let’s keep playing. How about some dialogue? What’s distracting or motivating him?

A character is a starting place. Just about EVERYTHING is a starting place, imploring us to explore, question, and develop as we aim towards some sort of art-thing we can share with the world. For now, let’s keep playing, dreaming and attaching.

Create a visual sketch of one character by combining ideas and images. It doesn’t have to be a great sketch, or a creative idea.Start with any idea, or start with any doodle. Add a few more ideas. What’s could be happening in the sketch to the left?

1. He is waiting for a pie to bake
2. He’s practicing for his job as a concert pianist
3.This is the first time he’s ever laid hands on a piano. Why?

Now let’s give our character a name. Benny.

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