Sunday, May 21, 2006

INNOCENTS COVER part 2: Enter Harajuku

Then I get an email early this year, and David Wohl has run into a bit of problem. Down the bottom of the last post's image, you will notice four Harajuku girls who are supposed to act as Grace's (the big red chick) spirit guides. It seems that the artist (a talented storyteller) is having trouble finding the look for the girls. His attempts keep looking a little dated and uncool or too martial and aggressive.

Enter Jas.

My mission (should I choose to accept it) is to design 4 Harajuku girls in the form of a pinup that they can use as reference and to publish in the book. Two birds with one stone. Make my job a bit harder, but that's ok. I like a challenge.

The only problem is the short deadline means I have to colour it myself. Without my genius colourist I was all alone.

The main problem I believe that artists fail on is research. Most people are pretty good at the brief, but have trouble extrapolating it in a truly orginal or innovative area. I struggle with that too, but in this day and age with Google, there's no excuse for not doing research. So each of the four girls has to represent an element (from left to right): Fire, water, earth and air. I also wanted each of the girls to represent a different facet of the Harajuku imagery that I'd been looking at. I picked school girl, elegance, manga and goth. the colour pallettes were obvious. Then I began to trawl through the research looking for accessories. Chains, pads, piercings, hair pieces and extensions, jewellry, gloves, bands, buckles, boots, corsets, textures, hair styles, bullet belts, tattoos, goggles, coats, hand cuffs etc etc. Then was the effort of trying not to repeat myself and give each girl a unique look.

I pictured fire and earth as being the two down and dirty fighters. They would be the front line. Air was more of a Castlevania/Yoshitako Amano slim leaping sword mistress. Meanwhile water would just appear behind you.

David seemed to like it, and Fire makes an appearance in issue 1.

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