Out of my comfort zone (Part I)

You can't imagine how much I waited for this moment.

As many of you may know, we have started to design our next range, which will be focused mainly on Orcs and Elves (I will probably design also some new Dwarf character, just to keep the practice, you know...).

I will talk about Orcs later because actually we are 100% focused on Elves, so there is no fresh news about them, at this moment.

As the title suggests, working on Elves was, is and surely will be a real challenge for me because I'm demanded to go out of my comfort zone with no hesitations and, after all, Elves are not my favorite subject: I won't lie about that (and I think you are not surprised about this fact!).

However, I deeply want to create at least the best Elves I can imagine and for this reason I simply have to be on top of my biz!!

But let's proceed by degrees: people that managed to know my attitude, probably have already guessed that I have a strict and linear process, concerning character designing. This chart, in fact, perfectly nails my ideal creative process:

Follow these lines, and you can't go wrong with your designs.

However, to properly design Elves I had to explore lands that I wouldn't normally want to visit and, believe me or not, I had to completely change my mind.

Indeed, although some moments of panic and lack of self-esteem, I think I found a way to create my Elves in a way that satisfies me and, hopefully, might be interesting also for you. I won't spoiler you too many details about the first character of this new range (you will see it the next week!), but I can anticipate you some behind the scenes of my pointy ears guys (and gals).

Let's start with some sneak peek (please, consider that you're seeing a w.i.p!):

Since the very beginning, I decided not to design a classic "Tolkienish/Warhammerish" kind of Elves. I know: I'm the less money-grabber Ligurian ever.

I wanted to design a different kind of creatures, more inspired to the ancient Anglo-Saxon myths, with a sinister but colourful and "fairy" vibe, like the masterpieces of Brian Froud.

I wanted them to be weirdly fascinating: you know that there is something wrong with them, but you are attracted to them the same.

Finding an interesting anatomy has been a real challenge and Valerio really pushed his cosmo beyond its limits, to catch the right feel: after several experiments, we came out with an anatomy that surely has extreme body proportions: big hands, small feet, a fragile but "snappy" body with volumes that are ulteriorly extremized by the iconic equips we designed for them (wide trousers and huge bracelets).