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the #NonIdentikit challenge

Yesterday I was bemoaning the lack of variety in the faces I see comics people and illustrators drawing for their main 'beautiful' characters. When teenagers show me their sketchbooks, so often they've drawn one face, over and over, often inspired by Japanese anime. I grew up with Betty and Veronica, who had the same faces in their comics, and you could only tell them apart by their different colours of straight long hair.


Betty and Veronica, Sailor Moon

I'll do a longer blog post here about it soon, and include more images, but I've set a challenge for myself to draw 20 faces that don't fit the identikit model but are still strikingly beautiful, enough to make you turn around and think, WHOA. Faces that you look at and they're not your standard Hollywood ingenue or female superhero, but you can't stop looking. Sometimes they'll be from non-white ethnicities, sometimes they'll be the white teenage or 20-something women people seem to prefer drawing, but with a difference. A heavier chin, a big nose, a monobrow, the variations we get in real life.



Check the Twitter hash tag #NonIdentikit for updates, and feel free to use the hash tag to contribute your own! You can do detailed portraits or a bunch of quick doodles on a single sheet of paper, head portraits or full body, awesome outfit, plain clothes, whatever you like. (Keep in mind that some kids might be browsing, and hopefully be inspired.)

I'm hoping to learn a few things by doing this; practical considerations, how to create characters who aren't identikit but still have powerful visual appeal.

Edit: Here are a few experimental sketches I've posted on Twitter:


Comments

jabberworks
Jan. 26th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
Re: I like a lot of these but
Hi, thanks for the comment! You're right, not everyone will like unusual faces. I suppose another side of the argument is that I sometimes hear people saying a book or a character isn't getting a wide enough audience and I look at it and think, it's not because they're black/in a wheelchair/gay/etc, it's because it's not very well drawn.

It's really hard to make an unusual person a character that people will want to watch. I don't think any of my character sketches above are developed far enough to be ready to go into a book, but I guess if I draw enough and keep experimenting, one of them might make it in sometime. One of my unusual heroes is Edna Mode, she's the best part of The Incredibles and definitely the woman in the film I most want to BE. :D

jinty
Jan. 26th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC)
Re: I like a lot of these but
Not everyone will like unusual faces but that's not quite what I was saying, either. Edna's not beautiful (IMHO) but she is striking and worth watching!
jabberworks
Jan. 26th, 2015 04:40 pm (UTC)
Re: I like a lot of these but
Maybe I should have said 'striking' instead of beautiful. (I find the two usually equate, but not everyone would.)
j_cheney
Jan. 30th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I like a lot of these but
EDNA!!!!!

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jabberworks
Sarah McIntyre

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