About Me

I study animation and tell stories through my art, whether by writing, illustration, painting, or animating. I live in the country with horses and 2 German Shepherds named Raven and Sula. When I'm not drawing and animating at work, I do farm stuff at home!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Character Development: Conrad Flynn

Conrad is my very special character.  Oh so special!  I must give you a quick back-story:  I saw him in a lucid dream, but he, unlike Smokes, was a good guy, and I didn't know his name.  "Conrad Flynn" is a name I made up which means "feathered friend", because he started appearing after I was constantly barraged by cardinals!  No joke...they'd wake me up all the time, pecking on my window.

 I've seen Conrad in dreams when I was sick and rather morose, and frankly hopeless, but the next day I seemed miraculously guided to a cure.  I also saw him after I saw Smokes for the first time, and as I said, I was scared huckleberriless!  But Conrad appeared and made me laugh about some absurd joke, and I forgot my fear.  Then , the night before we were going to put my dog Biscuit down (he was suffering from cancer), I saw Conrad playing with him, and wouldn't you know, the next day Biscuit was much better!  He lived for four months after that, (two more years than his predicted death-day, in fact).  Good things always seemed linked to this child in my dreams.  Needless to say, I grew fond of my little dream friend, and HAD to make him a character.
The first time I saw Conrad, he floated slowly up out of the ground in a pinkish mist.  He had reddish-brown hair, and a kind face that inspired comfort, and I instantly liked him.  It wasn't a "hot/gorgeous hunk" face...it was a simple, humble face, with very wizened eyes, even though he was quite young . 
I decided that Conrad's design would be that of a young boy mixed with a cardinal; basically, he'd have the appearance of a normal human with the markings of the cardinal (black skin around the eyes and neck, very vibrant red hair in a sort of mohawk, and red-to-black attire) 
His clothes started off basic, long sleeved shirt and pants, and they lacked character, big-time, which is a no-no.  So, I'm now dabbling with his sleeves having a sort of fringe (like feathers), a black shawl around his neck, and plain black pants that blend seamlessly into sharp little shoes.
Conrad started without wings, then I foolishly gave him some out of a naive desire for him to look like an angel.  I took them away once I fully developed his history (look to the books if you want to find out...your heart will throb with such emotion!)

Conrad's face is the hardest for me to get right, since I'm wretched at drawing cute things!  But Conrad has given me a reason to practice, and I'm getting better.  I'm also trying to come up with an "animateable" design for future prospects.
Another fact about  Conrad is that he changes age frequently due to his *cough* spiritual condition (it's a part in my book...I shan't reveal more!), so I needed to work on various ages, trying to keep him looking like the same character, which is still a big challenge.

I've used Conrad for multiple projects of mine, and always find little secret places to put him in my art, either as a plain old cardinal, or a boy with rusty hair and a red shirt, a super-hero, or even himself.

So there you have it: A brief history of the character inspired by a good-hearted spirit in my dreams. 

Next:  Either Adela, Jay Walker, or some other basic character development.

I go now.

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