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MADELINE ABATEMARCO

Character Design and Visual Development

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I took today as a long, introspective day to mull over this course and what I loved and gained from it. As I was doing my (very... much needed) deep-cleaning of my room, I thought about how much this mentorship really aided me in not only improving in speed and technique, but mentality--I now understand a lot more about where I can improve and how to go about it. I've learned what research really means and how to make it efficient and nuanced--something that I usually think comes only at the end of a piece or a concept. Narrowing and nuancing research makes your life THAT much easier in the long run, and I've never actually had a class that guided me through the very beginning of stumbling upon and developing an idea to the ending portions where things become more and more refined, and it's more about just adding the little finishing touches. To me, that has been so, so, SO very valuable and cherished, and it's showed me not only how to actually conceptualize costume, but environments, characters, painting methods, color, and so much more. I went in expecting a costume design mentorship and left with an entirely new and fresh way to analyze and articulate my artwork.

I've been thinking of ways to add more to the class, and the one thing I really could think of was perhaps to add more in-class practices or rundowns. I felt like those were such a pivotal point for all of us because it really limited our time requirements in a way that really made our brains execute the skills we've been covering in ways that are different than going at a more leisurely, break-involved pace. Doing 8 thumbs in 10 minutes, or limiting a turnaround concept to 10 minutes really shows progress and what is understood vs. what still may need some time.

I also really enjoyed when we did the astronaut character in-class development session because it allowed all of us to combine our ideas and better understand the psychologies! I know that I, at least, had some trouble fully understanding the different enneagrams in the beginning, but after working through them for weeks and then applying them on the spot to a character and giving the reasons as to why and how it'd fit into their bare-bone story really gave an extra level of understanding in, again, a much more time-crunched kind of in-class practice session. (:

Thank you so much Jessie Kate for these past 12 weeks, I had so much fun and learned so much information in what felt like such a short time! The course really flew by! I'm super interested in taking further mentorships with you... both the character lineup and relationship between costume and environment course ideas sound like an immense amount of fun and amazing workshopping and learning opportunities!