My recent proposal presentation went down remarkably well, however I did recieve one particularly strong criticism regarding my character concepts – not over the characters themselves or my drawing style but specifically over their clothing, being told that their garb was too generic, too typical of the genre. Taking an honest look at the designs with fresh eyes I feel inclined to agree; currently I’m wearing (sorry) my influences on my sleeve a little too obviously. So, I tried a different approach…
I’ve being toying with the idea of drawing design ideas from cyberpunk’s parent genres of Noir and detective fiction for some time, but remained apprehensive. Putting an old school spin on things could be interesting but it could also push my setting into steam/retropunk territory and loose focus as a result.
It is consequently with some caution that I approach this new aesthetic, I don’t intend to saturate my design with it but a few nods in the style of certain characters ought to result in a more interesting look and feel to my cast and – by extension – the setting. In the case of Scratch (above) I’ve tried to emphasise her role as the allegorical detective in the narrative with the braces & tie combo. It makes her appear more masculine but given her relatively butch personality this isn’t exactly a bad thing, while it also projects a stronger sense of the professionalism intended in the character rather than the ‘futuristic basketball player’ vibe her old outfit gave.
It’s looking like a promising new direction for my design so I’ll see how far I can take it before I have to compromise.
It’s nice, but I wonder if it doesn’t fall a bit too much into the “strong girl dressed in a man’s suit” stereotype. And the feet clash a little with the rest(though I like the design), I think. If you decide to stay in that line, maybe you could try rolling her sleeves.
@Demontales: I see what you mean about the “strong girl” stereotype but I’m hoping to work that sort of cliché out of the character within the story. Early in planning I’d envisioned Scratch’s role being taken by a man but changed my mind as it seemed overly macho and a great deal less interesting (plus I’m a sucker for strong women). All I can say at this stage is that masculine dress sense is an integral part of the character development.
On the feet; this may sound strange but they are intended to clash a little. In design terms this is a little questionable, but thematically I really wanted to emphasise the conflict between old clothing values and the new outlandish technology. Logically I couldn’t make shoes really fit the scheme either – I way I think about it, if you had hardwearing cybernetic replacements for your feet, would you bother with shoes? Would they even fit anymore for that matter? You definitely have a point on the sleeves though; one of the things a liked most about my earlier design was the way the cybernetic arms immediately drew your attention, which has gone out of the window here with the full sleeves. I’ll definitely try sketching a rolled up version at some point.
Anyhow, thanks for the honest criticism I’ll keep it in mind for later designs :)