Bex (Artist Desginer: Maker) and I have been exploring possibilities of characters and names. Bex from quite an early stage liked the name ‘Sow’, the acronym for Size of Wales and the verb for planting seeds. Our ideas have stemmed from this, and so we are exploring the anthropomorphism of tree seeds. In keeping with the work that Size of Wales does.
I have very little experience of character design, and so am not confident in approaching this task – however, Bex really enjoys and thrives in tasks such as this and so has dived straight in. We have begun to collaborate though, I sketched a basic starting point and Bex has worked with them to create them into character. We want to create a character that is cute, recognisable, and simple – simple to remember, and simple to replicate.
Here are some basic initial designs we’ve been working through.
We are interested in making this eventually into a three dimensional, portable mascot and have discussed with out tutors the directions that this could be taken. For example, its important that we encourage the use of sustainable resources to make this mascot – and so we intend to make our prototype out of recycled materials.
Another consideration is how this mascot would carry to various schools across the places that Size of Wales work with. We have discussed the possibility of making the mascot into a template, and providing instructions for schools to individually make their own ‘Sow’ – out of the recycled materials they have to hand. This would mean that the idea would be more transferable across a range of places, and would extend the engagement with the character as it would be personal and customisable to each individual school.
Further ideas that could develop with the project, is the possibility of creating something that is able to be built on each year. For example, as the schools continue to work with Size of Wales, the mascot begins to grow – or ‘sprout’, with various new leaves. There is also a possibility, again to further the engagement of the children with the mascot and with one another, of actually passing different ‘Sows’ around various schools. So that the children begin to see the mascots that they made travelling around different parts of the World. We have not fully considered the practical implications of this, but it is something that we could explore during the development and process of the project.