Welcome to my character portrait gallery

For anyone who is wondering, Wednesday became 'black Wednesday' for me because I cannot draw mid-week!
In fact I'm sure the rainforests mourn Wednesday too by the amount of paper I tear through in frustration... so this is a blog for all who know what like it is to regularly shout at their pencils
Oh yes it's also all about fictional characters plus interviews with them, yeah, that too :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pandora Young

Pandora Young is a super-skinny 17year old. At 5ft 8in tall she looks almost anorexic and yet is one of those teens who can stuff vast amounts of all-you-can-eat into their mouths without gaining an iota of fat. This instantly makes some of the larger ‘constantly-on-a-diet’ women in our office hate her. 

Their jealousy soon dissolves when they realise that Pandora, or Panda as she likes to be known is completely bat-shit crazy. A whirlwind in her own right Panda has more colours of mood than a psychedelic rainbow. She possesses a shorter attention span than a kid with ADD on a sugar and caffeine rush, less common sense than a schizophrenic on LSD and all the subtly of a badly aimed brick.
In fact the only way we could get her to stand still to capture an inexpressive pose was to lie and pretend we were shooting an advert or modelling campaign. Thankfully one blank sash was sufficient enough to convince her we were professional agency scouts. We had prepared a lie and decided to tell her that our non-existent logo would be added to the sash after processing but she never questioned the fact that it was blank. 
Needless to say then that Panda loves to pose and heartily indorses her daddies shoe company. She works in advertising and has written a book about shoes called ‘extended wardrobatics.’  It dismays us that any reputable publisher would allow such a thing to print but realise that the amount of money her daddy offered was probably too good to refuse.
In the seconds it took anyone to process that thought Panda got distracted and dashed off to change outfit. She returned all silly grins girlish twirls and spiky pigtails with a different hair colour. We wanted to ask how she managed to switch the colour so swiftly but before anyone could utter a word the girl went off on another random tangent.  This is also about the point our employees switched off and stopped making notes.
To summarise the notes made, Panda is energetic, excitable, fun and friendly but also extremely forgetful, most of her thoughts evaporate in seconds. She is rather manic, a nice but nuts persona who although mad as a box of frogs does mean well. Panda is completely indecisive and utterly annoying. Her short attention span and lack of any sentient memory means she finds it particularly hard to retain information. We mean ANY information, its fairly frustrating to try and create a portrait whilst the subject keeps asking for the water fountain, then forgets where it is, or where she is, then laughs and sits and stands and sits and finally asks again, ‘where is the water fountain?’ I think a few employees went home to drink themselves into normality after meeting her.
We’ve had so many miserable, dead-pan and cold-fish occasions with other interviewees that we never dreamed we’d revere those moments. Honestly, there is no way to shut this girl up.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jericho Braskrau

We are greeted with a man who oozes testosterone and an unfaltering self-belief. With his chest puffed wide, he takes a slow and pronounced saunter toward his designated seat. His has scarce hitched up his grubby jeans or said hello before he demands, ‘call me Braus, little beauties.’ He throws a cheeky wink at us and sucks deeply on his cigar. 

His initial appearance is akin to a bad reincarnation of the Wild West. A cowboy wannabe who figured chewing tar and cultivating wrinkles would suffice. Now this man likes to smoke, constantly. His shirt pocket is stocked with cigars. He demonstrates his mastery in the art of blowing smoke-rings much to the disdain of the many non-smokers present.
His dialect is as almost as thick as his weather-beaten skin. Standing at 6ft tall Braus certainly looks older than his 44 years. Though we imagine keeping up such an inane banter must take its toll. He has broad shoulders and a black gun holster strapped around his bulging hips. He says he likes wenches, maids and brothels. Dare we suggest he likes men also? He never admits as such but we suspect Braus to be quite sexually liberated and uninhibited.

He frequently scrapes the remnants of golden hair over his scalp as though he doesn’t realise he is beyond balding.
He appears to think that all women love him and all men want to be him. Both sexes in the office can confirm that he is as proportionately wrong about this fact as he is sure of it.

Still Braus is quietly proud and even when hurt refuses to believe that anyone can dislike him. We cannot deny that persistence is a great quality to have but there is a distinct line between standing up for who you are and smothering your audience with every faecal smattering of your persona. Overbearing is a bit of an understatement, Braus loves being centre of attention, with his booming voice he declares that he is the best at everything he applies himself to. He is certainly the one with the loudest voice, the one most pronounced and the one willing to grab the attention of any drunken rabble by the ears and shake them despite the consequences. Undoubtedly Braus can handle himself and others when required. He is quite the seasoned character.

His one unusual talent is that is able to ‘see’ people’s names. He is unable to describe quite how the ability works but states that he has always been able to read birth names, despite any pseudonym the person might be currently using. He describes it as a form of mind-reading, one that is limited to seeing names and nothing else which quite frankly sounds like a rather useless talent. Braus however makes a living out of finding people and as it happens, locating missing persons or weeding out spies is quite heavily reliant on knowing their names.

It is clear he thinks that his terrible one-liners and lusty advances are charming and welcome. The same can be said for his many dull anecdotes.  It comes off as rather greasy and seedy, that said Braus is actually very polite and congenial to all he meets. He has no ill intentions and not a bad bone in his body. Aside from a very inflated ego he is harmless and always willing to help.

He might be a touch misguided and vastly misogynistic alongside smelling like a horse’s backside, still his heart is in the right place.  Helping others is his goal and a noble one at that. We can’t all be great at compassion but it is obvious that his efforts are heartfelt even if he does get it repeatedly wrong.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Naiad Oakwood

Naiad Oakwood is 24 yrs old and 5ft 3in tall. Most relatives and friends shorten her name to Nai which she finds quite appealing; some call her Ni-Ni which she loathes. Arian and Kale often tease her with ‘Ni-Ni,’ which she suspects is because they know she hates it.

Despite the fact that her lurid red skin is offensive to anyone with a hangover, Naiad’s face has a strange allure that is just quirky enough to make us reassess our idioms of beauty yet also a touch too creepy for us to deem truly attractive. They do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder however in this instance Nai is likely the one to be holding our plucked-out eyeballs.

She is the playful sort with an outward persona that could be mistaken for a girl much younger than her years. She is an energetic, eager, and bubbly soul who drinks wine as though the nectar of gods were running dry. She may act innocent but is far from it. Her idea of play consists of some rather dark contraventions to normality. She appears to disassociate actions and consequences and therefore has little sense of social, political or moral correctness. Most of life is merely a game to her. Being invulnerable to weaponry and possessing healing abilities are likely the reasons she does not understand the concept of suffering.

Knowing she serves Luka we are less surprised that Naiad has a skewed perspective of reality. She sees little ill in certain heinous acts, for example, murder is more of a chore to her than a worry. It’s as though there is a wire missing in her head, specifically the one that identifies the difference between good and evil. So far as she has ever known war is play, and no-one she likes gets hurt or dies.

She pops and zings in off-balance ways. An utter mismatch when you realise that concentration and physical balance is something that as a professional circus performer Naiad knows better than most. Being part Damselfly obviously gifts her with a few unique abilities. Flight is the least of these. She is able to bend and flex in a way that would make even the best contortionist green with envy. Her one learnt and cultivated skill is healing others, a talent at which she greatly excels.

Her translucent wings are impressive no doubt. A few of us wince at the many times we’ve plucked the wings from crane flies, lacewings and all manner of bugs, we secretly wonder if it would hurt to pluck those huge appendages out and begin to feel bad about the idea until she reveals that she also loved plucking the wings from smaller insects as a child. This left us a little lost for words. After all, wouldn’t that be like us regular folk going around pulling the toenails from anyone smaller than us? 

To say her heart is as pure as the driven snow is ironically apt; pure in its icy intention, unrelenting and defiant. Her anarchistic goals are without question in her mind.

Nai may be a little freaky but we like her a lot.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Elgar Bhoi

Elgar is 43years old and 6ft 2in tall. He runs a workshop called Teknectic Amalgamations. This shop deals mostly with body modifications be they aesthetic or functional. Side projects involve actual machinery. His adopted son Ughei is quite fond of creating large insect replicas as means of transport.

A grimy mechanic Elgar is highly focused on his work and obviously has a brilliant mind when it comes to technology.  As mentor to his adopted son he has been most successful in teaching the lad. In person Elgar is rather grumpy; not the talkative type he clearly dislikes people and being away from his workshop. We suspect Bug garnered his love of the great indoors from Elgar.

In appearance Elgar bears a slight beer belly, he’s well rounded with rugged skin, a few wrinkles and a grubby yellow tan that might be unwashed oil from his machines. We are pretty certain there are no women in his household. Elgar’s hair is both silver and brown and slightly thinning on top. 

His left leg is missing, amputated after a rather nasty childhood accident. At the time his father crafted a crude false leg, one that was meant to be updated when they had the money. Over the years they worked together on improving the appendage, mending and recreating the design as Elgar grew. It is likely the same reason that Elgar still uses the oldest available model even to this day.

His current replacement limb is bare wires, metal and hydraulics ending in an ill-fitting claw foot. It doesn’t appear to hinder him in the slightest; notwithstanding the fact that this limb is hideously outdated it still serves its purpose. A stickler for old fashioned technologies Elgar stoutly refuses to modify his own body. When queried on his opinion of Bug’s vast modifications he smiles, ‘each to their own.’

We asked why he adopted Bug. In response Elgar half-shrugs, ‘I was lonely,’ and confesses, ‘that boy showed an aptitude for mechanics.’ We push further to ask why he went to the orphanage in the first place. ‘A misleading letter,’ Elgar huffs.
We were in the middle of wondering if he got promised pie when he elucidates, ‘an ex of mine said she had a child at that orphanage that might be mine, none of that was true. During my visit I met Ughei. I dislike children but this one struck me, I knew I could teach him what he wanted to know.’

Our staff went all slushy at the idea of kindred spirits and suddenly we liked deadpan Elgar a whole lot more than when we first met him. Neither did we expect sullen Elgar to be the philosophical sort. He surprised us by spouting, ‘Our technology can allude to any ideals you have of perfection, yet nothing will ever be perfect, there is no such thing as a perfect machine.’

Despite the steeled and dissonant edge of Elgar’s projected personality, he still manages to melt our hearts. His awkward compassion and bold ideals speak volumes of his character. We like to think we understand the unspoken charm in such a dedicated and passionate soul, as if its essence is splayed in his gristle and grit before finally being greased in charisma.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ughei Bhoi

Ughei Bhoi is 5ft 5in tall, and 15 years old. He prefers not to be called Ughei. Acquaintances have come to call him Bug for several reasons, the most obvious being those telescopic protrusions erupting from his scalp and the fact he has a genuine flair for anything technological. 

He lives and works as a mechanic in a workshop belonging to his adopted father Elgar. We must clarify that this workshop and the term ‘mechanic,’ both relate to physical technological enhancements of one’s body as opposed to fixing up inanimate objects such as cars. Elgar’s shop is well established, although perhaps not for the right reasons. Whilst their skill precedes them the shop is also known to run an underground service of less-than-legal procedures. Most mechanics won’t service known criminals or mercenaries, Bug and Elgar on the other hand are willing to sell new modifications to anyone providing they can pay and abide by workshop rules. Charrock is one such faithful client. Zya too keeps her custom loyal to Elgar and Bug and although she isn’t a criminal she does have a penchant for some rather odd, outdated and therefore illegal methods of modification.

We were instructed prior to interview that it might be difficult to coax Bug out into the ‘real’ world. In his declining letter Bug states that he is intensely focused on his work and thus cannot be torn away from his confines. (We suspect he is actually a socially inept hermit, with dare we say, slight hikikomori tendencies and a complete lack of understanding of anything that isn’t technologic.)

After several failed attempts at inviting him to attend our studio we were informed that the best way to get a meeting would be to travel to said workshop or take the interview via live connection. As it was the cheaper of the two options we chose the latter. Thus this is the first interview conducted from afar with the subject in an entirely different location to ourselves.

To further complicate matters Bug isn’t the talkative type. We were going to ask about the weather but then realised there are no windows in his room and he likely hasn’t been outdoors since leaving the orphanage.

His manner is somewhat androgynous and he gives no clear indication of his gender in the way he dresses, speaks or acts. His modifications are the only subject he talks of at length. It took some prompting but he explains that his bionic red eye was present from birth whilst his telescopic headgear and other alterations were added as he grew. He did most of the work himself and is clearly not vain as none of his mods are for atheistic reasons. Even his tattoos were grafted on because they had personal meanings as opposed to covering up the fact that he has no hair. Interestingly Bug has never had any hair, anywhere, not even a single eyelash. 

From this brief conversation we can clearly see he is a genuine and highly intelligent individual. Although a bit of an anomaly Bug is just the type of weird friend we would secretly like to have on hand in a technological emergency.