Since Del Toro seems to do the same thing, I decided to stain my surface yet again. Then, I mixed the closes approximation to the crimson red ink color he both writes and sketches with. Concept-wise, I decided to try to design my own movie monster.
The interesting thing about Del Toro’s creatures is the fact that most of them are not necessarily good or evil, and that all of them have a story. A story which he always makes sure to incorporate in their design. One of his more interesting quotes is the “eye candy versus eye protein” saying. Meaning that although he likes his monsters to look good, he doesn’t like his monsters to look good and have no substance and no depth. Even if that depth is never analyzed in the motion picture, the fact that it exists written on the character visually is already enough.
I started out my sketch by writing down my thoughts regarding this challenge in Romanian. Since Del Toro writes his own notes in Spanish, I thought the effect would be similar. Plus, this contributes to the “hiding private things in plain sight within my sketchbook” section of this course. Romanian speakers would be able to read it, and perhaps others who speak romantic languages would be able to understand a little, but that still cuts the number of people pretty low. Most of what I wrote is regarding the character itself.
I thought of designing a character after one of our Romanian folktales named Muma Padurii. Roughly translated to “Mother of the Forest”, “Muma” being an archaic term. Muma Padurii is a reoccurring character in many tales, most of the time an antagonist to Fat Frumos (Prince Charming). She is usually some type of witch and she sometimes has a beautiful daughter whom Fat Frumos falls in love with. I wanted to re-imagine her as a more neutral character. Someone who truly imbodies the spirit of the forest and will react negatively if harmed whether purposefully or inadvertently, but is otherwise benevolent.
Aesthetically, she is a living tree. She is ancient and cracking and wrinkled, but her leaves are green. She has holes in her face and her hair is made of spider webs, but the birds nest inside of her and the spiders keep the harmful critters away. She cannot see very well anymore, but she has butterflies with eyes on their wings whom she can use to see for miles even if she never moves a muscle.