March 2019 archive

Midterm Progress: 3D Illustration

Mid-Semester Report for 3D Illustration


Project 1: The Designer Toy

I have the pattern and have started sewing the Tardi-bears. I have to give up on creating an army, because time does not permit it. Focusing on making 3 really cool Tardi-bears is more important at this point.

I took Paul’s advice to go for the grotesquely cute. To do so meant straying from my original idea of a more realistic bear/microbe hybrid, and instead making a big eyed/big-headed/squishy weird thing.

Some troubles I’ve had is with sewing in general. I have not used a sewing machine in years because I find fabric to be the most frustrating medium to work with. I also sewed 8 left arms for the Tardi-bear, which is unfortunate now that I no longer need extras for my army. I am slowly re-learning how to use a sewing machine, which is exciting. In general, this entire process is proving to be incredibly anxiety inducing though. I spent the weekend fighting with the sewing machine, and nearly completing one Tardi-bear, only to be unhappy with the results. I’m thinking of making them smaller, because currently they look like bowling pins with big heads.

Preliminary Sketches:


Preliminary Patterns and Tests



The result as of 3/25:

This sad misshapen creature and my disaster of a living room.  I don’t want to look at either right now.


Project 2: The installation/diorama

My original plan: Make an army off tardigrade plushies. Why make only 3 Tardigrade bears when I can make 50? Who came up with this brilliant plan? I admit, this idea was incredibly ambitions and I am currently re-evaluating my life decisions that led me to this place. I wanted to make something cute and grotesque and squishy, and making many iterations of the plush would enable me to create something large and ridiculous. I liked the idea of a comforting and squishy installation because stress and sleep deprivation leaves me wanting nothing else. Perhaps others feel the same way. Why not create a comfortable space for them to contemplate their existential quandaries and a creature for them to cry into? It is the kind thing to do.

The new plan: TBD. All is lost.

Project 3: the Editorial Illustration:

Two doctors face off: one with a vaccine, one with incense and a plague mask. Children play together, passing a ball back and forth, their skin spotted with red bumps. Is it a coincidence that the rise of anti-vaxxers and measles outbreaks are happening concurrently? It feels like a battle between science and misinformation.

The measles children have been brought to life but are incomplete.The characters have been created from wire armature, foil, paper tape, and paper clay. Clothing is required. I don’t know how to clothe them yet. Eyeballs are needed to show their haunted expressions. Measles must be applied to their flesh. Do I want to do this traditionally, or photograph them and apply the virus digitally? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Project 4. The Story Illustration

The story I chose is “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” from a book by the same title.
I have been drawn to this story since I first read it, partly because of Kay Nielson’s gorgeous illustrations, but also because of the role reversal of genders in which the female protagonist is the adventurer. For this project, I’m choosing to ignore the sexist undertones that still exist within the story, and take it as the fantastical fairy tale that it is. It has many similarities with the story of Cupid and Psyche: Girl marries invisible person. Girls family convinces her to look at him while he sleeps. Girl discovers that her husband is gorgeous, and while senselessly gawking she accidentally spills candle wax on him. Husband was cursed by a witch. Girl has to go through trials to get her guy back.

The three scenes I am illustrating:
1. The beginning. The father gives his daughter to a polar bearing exchange for riches. While she goes of her own volition, it is because her father convinces her. the polar bear is in it’s very basic form.

2. Three is an important number in this—and most—fairy tales. The girl goes to look for her guy after he and his castle disappear. She meets three women who each giver her an item to aid her in her quest.

3. The girl is dwarfed by the north wind as she rides it to the castle. The stones show through the clouds in the distance, and the castle walls are monolithic and imposing.

I had the intention create a sort of shadowbox with the 3 scenes, but I’m still figuring out the logistics. I am currently working on creating the separate pieces to join together (mostly armature, cellu-clay, and paper tape), and might be looking into the addition of found objects.

The North Wind:

The Bear