As stated in my latest blog, when I got started on writing the script for the project, I quickly realized that I had really underestimated the difficulties I was about to face. Then after a few months of uncertainties, the fog around the plot started to lift, the sequencing of sequences and scenes became clearer. Then it was time to work on dialogues which involved me sometimes mimicking my characters expressing themselves in front of a mirror to see them come through life before my eyes.
Charadesign is to me the most critical step. With experience I now know they can change graphically with time. In hindsight, I see what’s not working and improve them. To avoid too much fixing, I allowed them a lot of time to form completely in my head, especially considering they would accompany me for many years afterwards. However, for some characters, there’s nothing like letting the pen slide on the paper to truly capture them at last. So, after the first few rows of sketches, I let their features seep in a bit while I turned to conceptualizing the universe they would evolve in.
After having drawn fantastical worlds relying primarily on medieval inspiration, I wanted to explore other atmospheres and turned to Antiquity. Which in turn forced me to relearn all my basics. Landscapes, costumes, up to the most common accessory. And while fantasy allows one to free oneself from historical constraints, I spent a great many hours researching and conceptualizing such things as buckle-less belts for instance. Probably a waste of time for some, but falling in the rabbit-hole of seemingly futile details is my own personal graphical pleasure. I also know that my attention to details is a feature that many of my readers appreciate, and I seem to recall that, on the subject, Arleston once framed what I was doing as ‘historical fantasy’. That time when I crafted my universe bit by bit was one of the most pleasant and stimulating while working on that project.
Next time I will detail more my work on the original pages of Sheïd. See you then!