I’m working right now (well kinda right now) on fleshing out the description of one of my characters. Remember I said I was tightening the camera? Part of that is splurging, while Mirriam Neal is still having her ridiculous art sale, and having her draw another of my characters for me.
Having a picture of the character helps me get a handle on how they look, how they talk, and how they move. The best I can do on my own is a composite of notes and badly sketched eyeballs (which is about the extent of my artistic talent. It really has withered due to neglect) and it’s just not enough. Mirriam is fantastic at reaching into the creative wibbly-wobbly aether (which can be detected with a thing that goes *ding* when there’s stuff) and pulling out the likeness of characters.
Really, you should take her up on her offer. $10 for a sketch sheet? $30 for a portrait? You aren’t going to get better prices than that. I believe today is the last day for it.
Right now, I’m going through pictures online and trying to find the ones I think look the most like my character so she has some visuals to work with. Usually I go through magazines (JC Penny ©, Macy’s ©, Cold Water Creek ©) and cut out the models that seem to fit the characters I have, but I’ve used celebrities as well for character image stand-ins.
I’ve also gotten very adept at snapping pictures of innocent by standers. See that fellow up there? The poor guy’s trying to have a moment’s peace and get his over long curly hair tucked into his cap before the horses and knights come out into the arena again. But did I give him that chance? Nope. *Snap* And now he’s Luicus, a character that’s been on the side lines whispering intriguing bits about himself to me for some time. Whenever I go to the Ren Faire out here, I take my camera. I think I snap two to three hundred pictures each time I’m there, taking pictures of cosplayers, costumers, and fans that have dressed up. Most, I’ve found, are delighted to pose if you ask them. I’ve taken pictures at historical places too like Williamsburg and Mt. Vernon, and they’ve worked into my folder of “character references”. So that’s what I’m up to tonight, Scribes, tightening the camera and commissioning some art. How do you put faces to your paper tigers? Do you base them off of friends and family members? Actors? Or, like me, are you out and about with your cameras (or phones) snap-snap-snapping away at reenactment professionals? Tell me in the comments below.