For my intended app, there is a big emphasis on the attributes and symbolic references of my characters meaning they will be all symbolic in everyday human-made objects e.g. helium = balloon. In order to present a visual representation of my ideas towards a certain element, I will be creating mood boards of each individual element through a collage of cartoons, sketches, photographs and human-made objects. I find this method extremely helpful as it can visually help convey and strengthen the narrative, artistic direction and function of my character/overall app.
I must be also aware of the historical & cultural connotations of items that I chose to merge with my collages as one of my previous trips to the Ulster Museum has shown me that many symbolic elemental objects are way before the age of me therefore it can be hard for children to connect with some objects that I could potentially prescribe in my app.
I will be looking at the 5 intended elements I want to include in my app such as:
For calcium, I want to create a strong healthy person who is always showing off his muscles.
For my calcium character, I can either go down two potential paths with him, either a person who is constantly eating vegetables & drinking milk or a tall buff weightlifter.
Character 1: Dentist
- What does it do? – constantly eats vegetables and drinks milk
- How does it act? – Always smiling (gives off a friendly appearance)
- What will it look like? – White dentist coat
- Positives – This can make children calmer going to the dentist and potentially eat healthier.
- Negatives – On the other hand, it can scare children from picking that character as many hate the dentist.
Character 2: Strong man
- What does he do? – Lift weights and flexes muscles
- How does he act? – Overconfident
- What will he look like? – Big and lean
- Positives – Can add humor to the app or inspire kids to potentially exercise.
- Negatives – He can come off intimidating.
For helium, I have a clear-cut character I want to create. Many of the attributes tied with helium are connected to a balloon, this is almost universally recognized.
Character 1: Balloon Female
- What does it do? – Plays with her balloon (see similar pictures above)
- How does it act? – Amazed and excited – gentle.
- What will it look like? – Kids attire?
- Positives – Balloons are fun for kids, which makes it more engaging.
- Negatives – None.
Gold can potentially be shown as a rich or shiny character, this one is easy as most kids know what gold is.
Character 1: Miner
- What does it do? – Constantly swing his pickaxe.
- How does it act? – Erratic and joyful.
- What will it look like? – Old western miner outfit (gold nuggets)
- Positives – Can create similarities between other products that make the app more relatable for kids, e.g. Minecraft or Golden Nugget Cereal.
- Negatives – None.
Character 1: Rich Guy
- What does it do? – Count his money.
- How does it act? – Subdued and alert.
- What will it look like? – Businessman/ or secret agent? (Gold Bars)
- Positives – Can be a cool character for kids.
- Negatives – Slightly materialistic this can be a challenge for poorer income kids.
Polonium is the most radioactive element that currently exists, we can create a great dangerous and ominous appearance to this character.
Character 1: Mad Scientist
- What does it do? – Create atomic reactions.
- How does it act? – Concentrated and ecstatic.
- What will it look like? – radioactive suit (goggles/gasmask?) — potion
- Positives – Can be a unique and interesting character for kids.
- Negatives – Slightly destructive behavior and can potentially creep kids out.
Character 1: Mad Hatter
- What does it do? – Melt at room temperature – *keep him warm*
- How does it act? – Hysterical & dumb.
- What will it look like? – Metalic with a hat
- Positives – Shows the dangers of mercury and how it reacts.
- Negatives – The dumbness of the character can be seen as offensive.
What have I learned?
This was fundamentally an important stage as I always find that creating Pinterest boards helps greatly when creating projects especially in this case for developing the artistic direction, symbolism and narrative of my characters that I wish to include in my elemental project. The main reason I am looking at these boards is for character creation and development which has served me perfectly. I will now begin to sketch out each individual character in order to get a better visual understanding of each elemental charachter.