Some months ago I participated in the Wild West ArtStation challenge.
I choose the character design field to try on because I love to work on backgrounds and props and I usually leave not enough space to practice on characters, so I wanted to have a reason for having fun with them for once in a while.
This was my final result:
Very far from perfect.
But I completed the "quest" on time, I had fun and, the most important thing, I created something new.
Every character has its own story and all the stories combined together created one: a small universe called "Restless".
I was in love with that sparkle of a universe so I started to explore a bit more this new world. I tried with some sketches of plants, buildings, I did a 3D simple model of the saloon (one of the main environments to develop because central to the story of a few characters), tried with some characters expressions and gestures but I was a bit lost.
A bit because I started, only one month later, my first job in an animation studio (JAM Media) and I was totally absorbed by the excitement for the project we are working on; but a lot more because I was working without a real idea about where I did want to bring this project.
So I was doing some nice things (and some crappy I have to say) but I wasn't really 100% into it, even if I was so enthusiastic at the beginning. I felt too slow and without a direction.
But some days ago I decided to change the approach and I thought: "Ok stop: what do you like to do?"
I like the universe. I like documentaries about cosmos and I like black and white sketches.
And I liked the idea to use some science mixed to the magical elements that I had in my world and maybe add a bit of tech. I would definitely love the idea of meshing up these elements.
So I did a step back and I tried to do a basic sketch of my new world. This was the result:
Again, no perfect, a lot of thing in the future will have to be modified or adapted (some already are changing shape) But I finally have a graphic idea of where are in this world the location I needed. Some new ideas born during this process. Maybe some other will arrive in the future and some of those I will never use.
But finally I feel a sense of direction in this project! The first place I want to define is the village where Ahote and Yutu born, so I took the piece of the map that was created for this purpose and started to re-designed it.
This is the result so far:
Not 100% a final piece BUT something else started to gain its shape into my mind. At this point, it would be easy to give in to the temptation of creating the much more interesting and "mystical" locations inside the mountains but I cannot run from the village. Here it is and is far too simple yet; I clearly have not created for it a personality of sort.
So I need to take care of it before to proceed.
I'm starting these days with sketching some of the huts and doing the turnarounds of my favourites, like this one:
So, colours are banished for now. I'm usually too much into painting and I don't want to risk to get lost in it.
And I have to say, I am quite enjoying this black and white exploration, I can clearly see my next moves even if I'm just at the beginning and I have a lot to do. But now this "lot to do" is an exciting thing and I can't wait to go and explore every corner of the Restless world and to develop all the locations, the creatures, the vegetation, the props and vehicles and mechanics and laws and, of course... the characters.
I decided to use this space to tell you about my journey and if you will want to share with me your opinions, critiques and thoughts feel free to do it, I can't wait to read them!