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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

tormalore
Jan. 28th, 2015 08:18 am (UTC)
I just finished reading This One Summer - I think Jillian Tamaki is really excellent at drawing non-identikit, compelling-to-look-at characters. I think it's totally personal whether or not they are beautiful but they are people you feel are real and can care about.

I used to love how pretty Betty and Veronica were when I was little, I guess i dreamed of growing up like them (!) but certainly not the best role models! Especially as the message seemed to be you can be a shambolic average chap and have the "loveliest" girls after you, but not vice versa... Poor Ethel couldn't even get that hamburger bin Jughead could she!

Really great hashtag and idea!

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