For my Final Major project I decided to look at Villains, Disney ones in particular due to the fact that Disney has always been a large part of my inspiration pool. Growing up with Disney stories and animation I’ve become very accustomed to their characters and settings. I’ve noticed recently that Disney have been remarketing their villains, making them look more glamorous and appealing to the younger audience in the forms of dolls, makeup bags and dairy covers. It gave the outlook of a side we’d not previously encountered, or thought possible, as their roles in standard storytelling was simply to cause friction and mayhem to the main characters, become the willing matron of our dislikes. I had also been playing with the idea of working more classical, with influences of art nouveau and print. I decided that by following a similar suit to that of Disney I would aim to make a selection of the villains more desirable, taking aspects from their stories and lifestyles that we know of to make attractive imagery simply to appear appealing to the beholder and little much else.
My initial plan was to work with 4 key villains but I dropped this to three so more care and attention could be given to the work. I selected Maleficent, The Evil Queen and Ursula as they were classic villains that I can still recall as strongly now as from my early childhood. Each also was accompanied by interesting imagery and a strong story which fed my illustrations. I ended up designing three ornate frames representing each villain. I chose frames because of their simple use of framing; their purpose is to highlight a feature or individual. We don’t generally frame something of little value or considered as rubbish, it is more often than not something considered beautiful to behold or of high worth. They also can represent the outside of a mirror, which is strongly hinted in the illustrations used for the Evil Queen’s variant. The mirror is a sign of vanity and beauty, it can also reveal and individuals true self which in my case was to reveal the worth behind these villains, in a more attractive light.
I combined the frames using hand drawn elements and Photoshop, these went on to being produced as screen prints and were further printed onto different papers and canvas bags with a mixture of inks. This was somewhat new to me as I’ve often avoided screen-printing when it comes to producing work, the process was especially long due to the finer detail in each frame, which meant only one print could be made before the screen had to be rinsed and reprepped. I also experimented with animation effects, I had a hand at making a gif using flash but found the process frustrating to work with, when it came to my final animation I worked in photoshop and was pleasantly surprised with how much easy it was – at times. I took the frame of the Evil Queen as I feel this is my strongest design currently and focused on the poisoned apple. The fact that it is simply a hand and apple gave it a more abstract feel, the frame can be viewed as an eye point or perspective, as if the viewer were the Queen as she inspects her murder weapon. It is also a known fact that the hands of a person can tell a lot about them, in terms of how clean they are, how well they take care of their appearance, their youth and so forth. They can be considered as a beauty point and thus I illustrated them to have long manicured nails and ensured the gestures used within were exaggerated and theatrical to portray the Queen’s love of limelight and vanity. I am relatively pleased with how the animation came out, although I am disappointed at how short it is. The process was quite long as each frame was hand drawn, painted and scanned in but I’ve become accustomed to it now and thus should speed things up.
By the time the exhibition comes round I would like to have produced some more in terms of the animation, possibly two others to cover Ursula and Maleficent. I would also like to produce a few more screenprints, I have three patterns designed for each villain aswell as a much larger final piece that combines all three frames to give it more of an impression.