Initial Idea : Exploring ‘Character’
What do you know about the subject? To me character means the elements that make up someone or something; like their personality, appearance or traits. If someone is referred to as ‘a character’ it often means someone who stands out against the others. The characters in a book are those who have made an appearance in the story. Stories NEED characters. There are often main characters within a story and then characters to take on a less important interesting role so not to draw attention away from the main characters. On a different note, if someone is suffering from multiple personality disorder it may mean seem that they have several alternate characters at times, e/g the story of Dr Jekyll and Hyde.
Why is it interesting? Because everyone is different and unique, it means everyone has a different character. Someone’s character can be a result of so many things. A life experience may effect someone’s character, such a a revelation may cause someone to be a nicer person. Whereas a car accident may leave a person who used to be confident, shook up and scared. It also may leave someone with physical damage which all adds to someone’s character. Basically every single little part of your life effects your character, which is what I find fascinating.
Is it broad? I think this is a subject broad enough for me to create a substantial investigation into, but not too vast that I will become lost.
If so what would be an interesting angle? At this moment in time I want to look into the types of characters used in fictional stories, and then perhaps look for examples of them in stories and real life.
Could you add or subtract something to strengthen the project? I could perhaps look at trying to explore a persons character from their body language and appearance, as opposed to hearing them talk or personally knowing them.
Could you apply an interesting rule or restriction? I could investigate into people’s character who visit certain places, see what kind of people tend to go to a selection of places. Such as, a museum, mc donalds, A charity shop etc.
Primary and Secondary research
Where could I go to carry out primary research? I could go to certain locations to see what characters are attracted to those places. These places could include: A museum (If I was going to narrow this down I could even go to a selection of museums such as the V&A, the science Museum, The British Museum, and see the difference in characters within the museum visitors.), Mc Donalds, A charity shop, A train Station, A supermarket (again I could see the difference in characters within my difference local supermarkets ranging from M&S to an off license.). I could also use social networking as a source of primary research, using what people have posted about what they think and what they’re doing on sites such as twitter and facebook to build up a character.
What should they do as primary research? I would record people going about their everyday lives in these places. By record I could draw or photograph them. I think it is very important for the subject not to know I am recording them, or else their behavior may change. In the same way that if I asked people to pose for me to record them, they wouldn’t be being themselves, they would be posing how they would like to be recorded. I could also use what people have posted on their social networking sites in say the past week and then create a character based on that week.
How will drawing as research aid this project? Drawing from life will be essential to record subjects body language, their clothing, and features.
Which secondary research should they carry out? I would like to visit the V&A to view some of the clothing they have on display there, to explore the significance of clothing within a character. The V&A also have information on an exhibition starting in October about Hollywood costumes and how important it is for an actor to have the right costume to play a role. Also look into viewing the sketchbooks of illustrators who draw from life constantly, as well as Designers who use the information they’ve collected to create symbols.
Which kind of expert opinion would help and where will they find it? Any kind of author has created characters to play a part in their story and will know about the foundations of a character. They could perhaps in contacted through email.
Who have they looked at? Initially I plan to look at Elwood H.Smith, James Jean, Otto Newrath and Oli Aicher.
Who/What should they go and look at? I plan to visit the V&A for their collection of clothing, and the Design Museum in search of designers who create symbols and logos.
What is the purpose of the project? To explore what makes someone’s character, and then use the information to create visual symbols.
What will the outcome communicate? Symbols will communicate the character of the people I have been observing.
Who is the audience? The audience will be the people around me, I hope that they will wonder if they have been involved in the project or one of the subjects.