Calliope the Enchanted: Artwork Composition

Calliope the Enchanted: Artwork Composition
Written by Peach

Each toy at Creature Feature Toys is designed with a use, theme, and character in mind. We like to get creative here and think outside of the box! We're all monster lovers here, so creating a character is part of the fantasy fun.

The character of Calliope, a magical sea goat carousel mount, was designed by Peach. As with most of our concepts, the team started with a variety of different ideas and influences for the character’s design. Peach's conceptualization phase starts with taking these themes and refining them into something more unique and well-rounded. In Calliope’s case, the thought process went a little something like this:

Peach's general rule is to never go with their first idea!

The next challenge was presenting concept to the rest of the CFT team. To pitch the idea, Peach drafted sketches for the Calliope's appearance with potential poses for the final character illustration. At this stage, we intentionally keep the details minimal and are flexible with for any final revisions.

Most of the sketches were done by Peach, minus the bottom left and center sketches contributed by Fuzz.

Calliope's character art presented another challenge due to their unique anatomy. We were stuck on how to show this carousel mount posing with their pole in a dynamic fashion…with a tail! Many sketches were created in an attempt to strike a nice balance with the character’s design and overall composition. It took us all of these drafts (and then some) for us to decide to separate Calliope’s form from the pole!

Once the character and concept was agreed upon, Peach created a mood board. This was meant to help convey the theme park, general color palette, and decorative elements to incorporate in the final art.

The mood board and character concept also established the themes Peach used in Calliope's story and flavor text. We always try to tie some element of the environment into the stories, such as the eerie and alluring feeling of a carousel come-to-life!

At last, the character artwork was the final hurdle! Fuzz pieced the art together, letting the background details to imply direction and motion. While Calliope is viewed straight-on, it’s clear the character is moving on the pole as shown by the tilt of the carousel and movement of the wispy fog. The facial expression, posing, and subtle apparel detail is meant to help convey the character’s personality. The faintly sinister atmosphere is created with subtle fog and the other shadowy carousel mounts. Peach felt like Fuzz took the image right from their brain!

This animation shows how Fuzz developed a colored sketch, balancing focus on the background, character, and lighting.

What a Twist!

Although a sea goat and a haunted carousel might be an unusual combination, we had a lot of fun with Calliope the Enchanted and we hope you enjoyed a peek at some of the process of how this creature came to be!

Be sure to check out this decorative toy, and read our other blogs in the Creating Creatures series!