Elliot Alfredius

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Elliot Alfredius’s fantasy character concept designs explore the variety and effectiveness of fully clothed female characters.

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Elliot exaggerated body characteristics, such as hight and size in away that does not hyper sexualise or objectify the women but rather adds to them as a character, for example the taller women could come from a more open plane of land and are used to more agility based survival than the stockier women who could have a stronger and more compact bodies do deal with climbing rocky terrain.

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What is so fantastic about his work is that he has crated women within a fantasy context that do not hold up to the stereotypical dehumanisation of women in fantasy. When usually women are put in next to nothing armour and given ridiculously large breast, it can discourage female players from choosing or even liking female charters as they do not represent the kinds of strong warrior women that would have truly existed within that world. Also men who play these games tend to be so use to these unrealistic, hyper sexualised versions of women in games that it leaks over into their real life expectations of women and leads to them seeing and acting towards women in a very sexist manner.

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Another thing that is brilliant about the designs is that the women still retain feminine personalities; they don’t have to become “masculine” just because they look “manly”, it shows how strength does not rely on typical gender characteristics and is more to do with the person.tumblr_mwoez306jK1rt0j1mo1_500 tumblr_mwtp1u4dwo1rt0j1mo1_500 tumblr_inline_mwucbwRMOT1rn2drx tumblr_mwvtc5CwFh1rt0j1mo1_500

The only issue I have with his work is that these women are just put up against plain backgrounds and it would be interesting to see how he deals with putting them in different scenes and scenarios, looking at how they interact within hostile and friendly environments, gaining a better understanding of the characters personalities.

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2013/aug/16/boobjam-breasts-video-games

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2014/feb/19/video-games-need-more-women-female-characters

http://elliotalfredius.tumblr.com/

http://www.peowstudio.com/elliot/

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Everything I Can See From Here

This work came to be through the collaboration of multiple designers on no budget. It’s easy to see that this animation was made with themselves in mind, with the use of saying things like “head looks like a penis” within the concept art.  Though the piece has none of the traditional plot lines and has no resolution, it does set the scene of a dystopian future instantly with the use of a multiple greys within the colour plate, the lack of life within the first few scene changes and the use of sound effects, such as the wind which on its own, without any other noises sets an ominous atmospheres at the start of the animation.

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The way the Alien ha been designed is one of my favourite (and least) parts of this animation. The creature is not designed into the stereotypical alien persona, it has very little human qualities that it is unable for the viewer to find any qualities to relate themselves to it, making the creature and the viewer unable to be emotionally connected and by doing this the creature becomes more terrifying. It’s actions unpredictable, there are not facial expressions or sound emitted from the creature to even indicate what it is going to do, which is unnerving, especially ad someone who fears the unknown; such as myself. The thing that was really neat that did was to give the illusion that the creature was slightly out of proportion to the rest  of it’s body (by our standard) but the BAM! the side view hows an incredibly disproportionate being and was so effective in causing a sense of unnerving shock that I had to stop the video and wander around my room to collect myself afterwards.

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The latter use of colour change within the creatures hair to indicate a change in mood, when it is attacked was a clever move as the illusion of unknowingness was not shattered by the opening of a orifice or the contortion of the face to show emotions. Along with the fact that the end shows the creature showing little remorse for it’s actions and just played with the ball afterwards gives off the idea that the creature is quite simple and has a limited range of emotions, so violence is a natural reaction when something alters a simple process, such as the dog stealing the ball and the man attacking him. This is honestly terrifying as it show that the creature is not some intelligent being but rather a simple creature with a gun.

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Sources:

http://www.thelineanimation.com/work/

http://blog.drawn.ca/

Animation
Sam Taylor samtayloranimation.blogspot.co.uk
Bjorn-Erik Aschim bjornsportfolio.com
Adam Hodgson AdamTheNog.Tumblr.com
Alexander Petreski vimeo.com/user1621759
Dante Zaballa podoboo.com.ar
Geoff King vimeo.com/user423106
Hozen Britto hozenbritto.blogspot.co.uk
James Duveen jamesduveen.com
Jim Round jimround.tumblr.com
Kristian Antonelli kristianantonelli.blogspot.co.uk
Tim McCourt messytimbo.blogspot.co.uk
Wesley Louis librabear.blogspot.co.uk

3D Modelling and Rigging
David Hunt slowgolde.com

3D Modelling
Max Taylor maxtaylordesign.com

3D animation
Max James van der Merwe  vimeo.com/jamesvdm

Backgrounds
Bjorn-Erik Aschim bjornsportfolio.com

Compositing
Bjorn-Erik Aschim bjornsportfolio.com
Sam Taylor samtayloranimation.blogspot.co.uk

Cleanup
Adam Hodgson AdamTheNog.Tumblr.com
Beth Witchalls pufflingsplace.blogspot.co.uk
Caspar Rock
Clarice Elliott vimeo.com/user885076
Denise Dean denise.dd-designs.co.uk
Freya Hotson vimeo.com/user2647473
Hozen Britto hozenbritto.blogspot.co.uk
Hugh La Terriere hughlaterriere.com
Isobel Stenhouse isobelstenhouse.blogspot.co.uk
Jessica Toth jesscato.com
Jose Saturno
Stewart Wagstaff stewwaggie.blogspot.co.uk
Tom Loughlin tomloughlin.co.uk

Making of
Luke James lukejames.co.uk
Owen Philips breadcollective.co.uk

Website
Tom Loughlin tomloughlin.co.uk

Special Thanks
Our Ma’s and pa’s
Jerry Fleming
Chris King videocircuits.blogspot.co.uk
Andrew Lim Clarkson facebook.com/andrew.l.clarkson
June Frangue junefrangue.com
and Winnie facebook.com/winnie.wadelim

The Line Studio
thelineanimation.com

Steven Universe

Though set for a younger audience, Steven universe is a universal show. It’s creator Rebecca Sugar knew what she was doing when she created Steven Universe. As one of the very few women to ever have their own original animated show, Rebecca Sugar alongside her conceptual artists like Kevin Dart, Have really created something wonderful with this show. The fact that the show contains three strong female protagonist with the main protagonist being a non-white little boy shows how using women for main characters is not a bad thing and that more than one person of a non white ethnic background in a cartoon does not feel “forced”.

 

Steven Universe, though made to sell to a universal audience has a strong effect on one particular target, demographic, minorities. There are characters within Steven universe that represent specific races and gender archetypes which are usually non-existent in other TV shows and cartoons. For example the three main female characters are all-powerful women, and they are never questioned or undermined by others for it. They are never demeaned as less feminine for being strong, Garnet; seen as the one with the strongest physical prowess, is never referred to as butch or ‘too masculine’ but rather praised for her all round badassness. Which to young girls who have a physically strong prowess, is an amazing role model to have because she explore the idea that they don’t have to be weak to be feminine.

This leads me onto my second point. The archetypes Pearl, Amethyst and Garnet represent and why they are important when it comes to what female ideals young children are exposed to within their lives. Let’s start with the leader, Garnet. As previously stated Garnet has great physical strength and as a result of this she is drawn with a more muscular body, something which is very important to depict because there is this idea within children’s media that if you draw a female character as muscular she immediately becomes masculine and therefore is no longer feminine meaning the character is evil. It is a very disgusting and archaic troupe that goes masculine female = bad feminine female =good.

 

Another troupe/ stereotype Steven universe obliterates with this character is a suggestively black character who is not the angry/sassy black women troupe. This character personality default is a damaging stereotype black women everywhere, this idea that black women have to be aggressive and sassy has become expected in both the fictional and real world causing any real world claims of unfairness or oppression to be laughed at as just black women being ‘black women’. However Garnet portrays none of these stereotypical characteristics, she is calm, calculative and has the demeanour and manner of a leader.

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The next female character I want to look at is Pearl. Pearl represents the more classic feminine ideals, slender proportions and graceful poise, what’s good about her is that it in no way inhibits her abilities as a warrior, she uses her grace as a way of becoming more precise in her attacks, turning her fights into a dance. What can be seen as on e of Pearl largest flaws is that she panics too much, frets over Steven and everything that happens to him, this is in no way a negative thing but makes her more relatable to viewers who find themselves trying to control everything an panics over things she cannot control (ie. Steven).

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Last but not least, the final female character I want to pay tribute to is Amethyst. Amethyst is almost the polar opposite of Pearl, brash and not well-mannered she has the personality more befitting of a male archetype for a character instead of a female one.  With this in mind, you would think that the developers would fall into the trap of making her overtly boyish, rejecting all female customs and characteristic in the view that they are lesser than men. However she doesn’t do this. Instead Amethyst only sees herself as Amethyst, she doesn’t fall into lazy stereotypes and, like any of us grows and learns from her mistakes (sometimes). This refreshing perspective on the tired out ‘tomboy’ troupe gives faith and comfort to girls who are very ‘boy – like’ in there behaviour and feel that being feminine is a disadvantage.

The colour schemes, environment settings and character development Steven Universe has blows many modern-day cartoons out of the water. You can tell how working within adventure time has helped Rebecca Sugar develop a vault of knowledge when it comes to creating her own hit TV show.

Sources:

http://rebeccasugar.tumblr.com/

http://www.indiewire.com/article

/television/adventure-time-writer-rebecca-sugar-on-steven-universe

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/steven-universe-creator-rebecca-sugar-is-an-idealistic-trailblazer/2013/11/01/fe622da2-4338-11e3-a751-f032898f2dbc_story.html

http://steven-universe.wikia.com/wiki/Steven_Universe_Wiki

http://kevindart.tumblr.com

Vera Bee

Vera Bee’s character styling a truly fantastical. Her women in dresses, which is an ongoing challenge that Vera and Emily Carroll do together, giving each other a dress from history to work with and then design a character around them. the way Vera brings personality and individuality to her characters is truly inspiring and although more decorative than functional I do prefer her style of illustration.

Bee’s  women are not plain weak templates of femininity the have personalities which are presented through the use of body language and facial expressions. She shows that femininity within female characters does not make the boring or submissive, it can be just one in a plethora of character trait that one person can posses. Take the girls braiding each others hair for example. The characters are not sexualised or posed in ways to emphasise their boobs or bums rather they’re hunches over, concentrating on the task in front they are women bonding together. These kinds of positive representations of female friendships and femininity are important for girls and women to see. It is them not seeing each other as competition but supporting on another through adversity.

Sources:

http://verabee.com/

http://verabee.com/art

http://www.mediamolecule.com/blog/article/mm_interview_with_vera_bee/

http://defunctfashion.tumblr.com/post/922704525/robe-a-la-polonaise-c-1780

http://defunctfashion.tumblr.com/post/807521634/house-of-lanvin-alex-ceslas-rzewuski-fancy

Hassan Hajjaj: ‘Kesh Angels

 

“Hajjaj’s work plays with and upends stereotypes, the power of branding, and the familiarity of everyday objects, applying a ‘street-wise’ approach to his layering of influences, items, and cultural signifiers to imbue the work with an electrifying tension. His confident, upbeat portraits of young women wearing  veils and djellabah while posing on motorcycles subvert preconceived notions of Arab women; his subjects are traditionally clad but defiantly modern, bearing bright smiles and the markers of youth, independence, celebration, and fun. As Kelly Carmichael writes in her 2010 essay in Contemporary Practices, “Hajjaj’s approach is to toy with the perceptions of Arabic culture and the relationship between East and West, recasting iconic images and allowing shafts of 21st century light to reenergize the encounter… [while] his practice on inclusion and contrast rarely offers just one aesthetic of theoretical opinion.”

These photographs do well in making you think, as a western audience about the stereotypes portrayed through out our society about middle eastern women. It smashes those stereotypes in a few photographs, showing you a side to Arab women that is not usually seen.

Sources:

http://www.taymourgrahne.com/exhibitions/hassan-hajjaj-and39kesh-angels#5

MARK

” Manchester creative studio MARK has designed a set of stickers for Johnson & Johnson that celebrate everyday items invented by women, from windscreen wipers and chocolate chip cookies to the fire escape.

The stickers will be placed around Johnson & Johnson’s head office in Berkshire to raise awareness of International Women’s Day on March 8. The company is hosting a series of events to mark the date and wanted to increase staff engagement.

“We were given an open brief to devise a simple, impactful and quick to produce idea that would engage staff interest and create a curiosity about the day itself and the history behind it,” says MARK creative director Mark Lester. “People are then informed about specific events mostly through email,” he says.

Eight stickers have been designed in total and each uses elements of a visual system MARK created for Johnson & Johnson late last year – the studio also designed office graphics, induction packs, internal communications and iconography (see more pics on MARK’s website).

It’s a simple yet effective solution, and while it’s a shame the stickers won’t be appearing elsewhere in the UK, Lester says they will be applied to various desks, doors, kettles and other spaces at J&J’s headquarters.”

What MARK has done here is a very ingenious way of informing people about female inventors by integrating it into their lives via stickers on mundane objects, creating and easy to replicate form of informing the public.

Sources:

http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/march/mark-stickers-womens-day

http://markstudio.co.uk/