#1. The first concept is the juxtaposition of inanimate objects and animals. Each item doesn't necessarily have to correspond with the animal, but it might create a stronger piece to use one that's not related to the animal's nature at all. For example, an octopus with a candle. An octopus is an aquatic animal, but the candle keeps fire when used. Fire and water are opposites, but the juxtaposition creates a unity between these two unlikely objects. For the menagerie part, a shared color palate and theme would help tie them together. For example, I could create a series of aquatic animals paired with objects that work with fire. To help illustrate this idea, here are some concept sketches:
#2. Another idea is to create dolls based on fear. This idea will require research into peoples' fears and even going up to people and asking them something they are afraid of. The more unusual or different the fear, the better. Being specific with the fear would also be useful. A broad fear such as the fear of heights can be taken in too many ways to be effective in portrayal. Now a fear of climbing stairs is specific and can be more effective in the doll. I would need a large range of fears in order to create a nice set of dolls. Asking people questions as well as doing research can also tie together a story with the doll in order to tailor the doll to their story bringing life and reason into it. In addition to the concept of fear and story, they will also share a fabric palate which is the same principle as a color palate. Enjoy these concept sketches:
#1. One artist I really admire and find inspiration from is Steve Argyle. His style is something that consistently amazes me. His commentary on his artwork is also imbued with comedy which makes them both amusing and worth a read. Below are some examples of his artwork that I find inspirational. If you would like to see more of his artwork, here is a link to his website: http://www.steveargyle.com/
#2. Another source of inspiration comes from Studio Ghibli. The styles of their film is distinct and beautiful. I have always loved Studio Ghibli movies and I've always found inspiration watching them. Below are some stills from Studio Ghibli movies that I keep going back to.
Still from: Howl's Moving Castle
Still from: The Secret World of Arrietty
Still from: My Neighbor Totoro
#3 As a bonus, here's a third inspirational source. The styles and designs for the witches in the show Puella Magi Madoka Magica (also known as: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) are extremely appealing to me. The way they animated these fight sequences and the designs of the whole witch encounter is simply wonderful. Below are some stills from the show showing off the designs and aesthetics of the witch encounters.