At the moment I'm experimenting with a small 'floaty' design, or a four-legged creature. Looking at other Spirit designs, especially tree spirits, artists/photographers tend to look for faces in tree trunks or branches that appears to take human form. This is something I'd like to avoid, like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas (1995), for example (see below). It's much too obvious and I think a physical embodiment of the tree's spirit will be best for interaction between the characters.
On the other hand, this illustration for the Totoro Forest Project by Scott Campbell has such life and personality in this wonderfully simple design. I like the size of the creature, it looks like it could actually be a part of the forest, however I need something more 'travel size' for my film to be more easily concealed and less cumbersome.
|Tree Spirit with Bike by Scott Campbell|
I like the smaller creatures surrounding him too, but they are far too much like Totoro's friends in My Neighbour Totoro, so I will have to look elsewhere.
To end, I've done another take of my character designs, this time to include one of my favourite versions of the Spirit, however it's still too 'ghost-like' and boring, and the colours are not unlike a carrot! So it's by no means final!