Thursday, March 31, 2011
I'm a teenage from the 80's. And what I learned during those radical days is you are what you wear. For me, high top Kangaroo sneakers, a Polo shirt with U2 buttons pinned to it and some feathered hair was the gnarly "look" I went for. For others it was parachute pants, a mullet and anything neon.
Since I've become an illustrator I leaned that your character's attire can make or break the whole concept. If you're doing a greeting card for example it's probably OK to adorn your character in some baggy pants with the undergarments hanging out. This because the shelf life of a greeting card is usually somewhat limited. If you're designing a children's book though, (something that hopefully has a longer shelf life) it's better to stay away from a fashion statement that will look dated in a matter of months.
While addressing this subject matter, Jannie and I have talked about how we should dress our characters. In Evil Knievel retro wear from the 70's or in today's current fashions. Inevitably the talk then shifted to placing our story line as far back as the 1930's or 1940's. A time when the latest fashion rage was flappers and argyle socks. The neat thing about that time frame is this opens up using props and colors that will help set a mood. Sepia tones and a bit of a muted palette might not be what you think of as far as children's book colors but if done right, it might be just the fun look we're going for.
At this point nothing is written in stone but we'd LOVE to hear your thoughts or comments on the idea of placing our storyline in the past rather than in today's fast paced world. What would be more interesting to a child in 2011? Seeing a character that is more apt to wing walk on a bi-plane at a fair grounds or one who would back flip a go cart over a port o potty?