The Scarecrow: with Feudal Japanese styling
I do try to tell a story in every design, and I'm always looking for real world hooks and historical connections to support my design choices wherever I can. I thoroughly enjoy the research and reference gathering phase as its my chance to really get inside the space I'm creating for and produce something different, something with heart... for me it all starts at the grass roots reference phase. As part of a Concept Art workshop while with Krome Studios, my fellow concept artists and I came up with the challenge to re-imagine the traditional characters from Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz by overlaying a Feudal Japanese thematic styling. As a child I was raised on this kind of whimsical and highly imaginative narrative and so took to the task eagerly.
The Scarecrow: with Feudal Japanese styling (Rear View)
Having him permanently bound to his pole presented an interesting opportunity for both a unique design structure as well as animation. Originally I had his arms free of the pole apparatus but later tied them to it, as I felt this character had more important features to capitalise on than his arms. So I tied them and had the sleeves without stuffing so as to create a draped look to his arms. His hands however were very important to me... the hands of a gardener I imagined, and these could slide along the pole and gesture as they needed to.