Saturday, March 3, 2007

Some thoughts so far

There are some nice sketches here. You are a talented group with a lot of great drawing ability. I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone refines their images and concepts.

I was a little disappointed to see so many robes, capes, cloaks, and dresses, for those of you that gave some thought to costume and setting at all. Although I'm by no means suggesting that you should stear away from this type of reference material, I wish I would have seen something a little more varied. Why not King Leare as an aging Chinese Emporor, Iago in an Armani suit, or Hermia and Lysander in Italian Fascist uniforms? I'm not trying to pick on anyone in particular or suggest where things should go, and I know that some plays lend themselves better than others to being re-contextualized, but it would be nice to see you guys break away from the stereotypes a little more. As you continue to develop your work, the type of visual references you are interested in drawing will become an integral part of your own visual vocabulary. I guess I'd like to see some of this stuff feel a little more personal and less like Shakespeare imagery I've seen before.

Also, I think you could all benefit from trying some weirder, less literal ideas. It's important to make sense and be clear, but I'd love to see you at least think about approaching things from a slightly less straightforward angle. You could hire Allen Cober to draw a power drill, write the word "Hamlet" above it, and have a really great, intriguing poster. Interesting things happen when you put words next to pictures, and although I'm by no means trying to suggest that this relieves you of your responsibility towards the text, on a project like this you should really feel free to try anything. Why not draw animals instead of people, set the whole scene underwater, draw someone on fire, dress someone entirely in fruit, put weird masks on everyone, draw the whole cast as puppets/dolls, use characters from 8-bit nintendo games, draw the scene in a morgue, or in space?? I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself here, and some of these thoughts would probably make awful posters. My point is that if you can do anything, why not at least try something out of the ordinary? Something that amuses you or that you've been dieing to draw.

I think for the most part everyone has drawn images that are very naturalistic. Playing with scale and distortion could possibly make a lot of your ideas more interesting. I understand the desire to create a picture that "makes sense," but keep in mind that there is no reason you have obey perspective, anatomy, or lighting if breaking those rules makes a more interesting image.

I know you guys are on break now, but don't feel married to these ideas. Scrap everything if you aren't happy with it, and feel free to try something else if you feel inspired, as I certainly won't hold anyone to what has already been shown.

Anyhow, thanks for all your hard work. Let's see even more sketches next time around. If you have any questions, you can post them here, or E-mail me: sam[at]


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