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  1. Monsters! • Artist in Focus: • Serene Bacigalupi

  2. Monsters! • Our next project is based on a New York artist named Serene Bacigalupi. • Serene was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. • She graduated from Reed College with a degree in Anthropology in 2007. • Serene draws heavily from an interest in graffiti and street art when creating her style. • Artists that influence her: Wayne White, Quentin Blake, and Gary Larson.

  3. How she works: • Serene first finds old paintings in thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, etc. She usually searches for landscape lithographs and loves that they usually come with tacky gold frames. • She then sketches her characters so that they look like they are embedded in the scenery. • The monsters are then drawn directly onto the painting using only pen or paint-pen. • She remarks that sometimes she immediately knows which character she will put in a painting while on others she will stew for hours or weeks. • She has over 30 consistent characters and every character has a name, personality and habitat. All information was found at

  4. Clockwise from left: Hug, Bath Time, Collection

  5. Clockwise from left: The Ralfs, Mega, Hobo Jug Band

  6. It’s Not Fair

  7. How do we start? • Unlike Serene, we don’t have a group of characters to choose from. • So we will create a character first and then choose a landscape. • Some of you may already know what type of character you want to create while others may not know where to start. • Lets look at character design and it’s history.

  8. Character Design and it’s History

  9. History • Character design has a long history which goes back to Greek and Egyptian illustration. The idea of creating a character illustration that symbolizes a person, place or thing (whether fictional or non-fictional) is a common method of representation. • For our purposes, we are interested in fictitious character design which traces its history back to comics, animation and also product brands. • The first comic strip published in America was in 1827 (Topffer “Histoire de Mr. Vieux Bois”) and the first animated cartoon was in 1908 (Cohl’s “Fantasmagorie”). Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willy” was the first animated cartoon that included sound in 1928. As a product brand, many companies hire illustrators to create a character that represents their product.

  10. History continued • How these creators come up with their characters is usually based on something or event from real life. • The creators of Mickey Mouse (Walt Disney & Ub Iwerks) were inspired to create the mouse after Walt Disney’s old pet mouse that he used to have as a boy back on the farm. • Chris Sanders created the character of Stitch back in 1985 for a children’s book pitch that turned out to be unsuccessful. When later asked to pitch any ideas for a new Disney movie, he remembered the character and pitched the story.

  11. How will you create your monster? • For those that don’t know what they want to create: • Come up with a name, personality, habits, etc. • Pick an animal (or animals) that share those traits. • Now mutate your animal into a monster. Your monsters don’t have to be horrible, they just have to be abnormal! • For those that know what monster they will create: • Give your monster a name, personality, habits, etc. • What type of landscape would your monster thrive in? What type would they hate? • Draw various facial expressions for your monster.

  12. Pooka