Week 25 complete! (Or, ‘Alas, poor Yorrick. I knew him, Horatio.’

Well, week 25 is done – and I cheated, a bit.

I’m a day late (but it’s still on the long weekend, so I’m saying it qualifies) and this week’s project is actual paying work.

These are all first drafts, with no feedback (beyond the initial brief) so it I’m allowing it. 🙂

Last week, I was approached by an event company that runs corporate team-building events, and was presented with an incredible opportunity: to create caricatures of characters from Hamlet, caricatures featuring an expression that captures the essence of the character. These caricatures would then be placed on cards which would be randomly passed out to the people in the workshop, who in turn would act out a scene from Hamlet.

The first challenge, of course, would be to capture the essential emotion of each character – the company gave me my starting point by defining the characteristics I was to evoke.

The second challenge proved to be a daunting one: Hamlet’s characteristics. Hamlet is the most complex character in the play – at the start of the play, he is genuinely melancholy, the middle of the play he is shifts between depression and rage… *and* feigns happiness/insanity/etc. So, I had to capture these characteristics on a single card – and I am quite pleased with my solution, which I feel is very elegant: as these are cards to be randomly handed out, why not style them as actual playing cards? Therefore, I can represent the depression and the rage of Hamlet on one card, without looking contrived.

Lastly, I wanted to keep the connection to the source material, so I created a colour palette based on colours Renaissance painters would use (yellow ochre, burnt sienna, etc).

Thrift, thrift, Horatio; the spoils of the payment does warmly satisfy the hunger of the project.

The astute observer might notice that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are coloured in the exact same colour palette. This is by design: the two characters are almost interchangeable in their behaviour, which is one of the themes explored in the play and film ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ (I highly recommend the film if you havent seen it, Richard Dreyfuss, Tim Roth and Gary Oldman – you cant go wrong!) where many of the characters confuse Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves! – I thought it would be clever to evoke this ambiguity by using the same colour palette for both of them. 🙂

Cbag out – to sleep; perchance to dream; aye, there’s the rub.

~ by Chris on May 24, 2011.

3 Responses to “Week 25 complete! (Or, ‘Alas, poor Yorrick. I knew him, Horatio.’”

  1. Very cool and I like the pictures a lot. An interesting team building background, but a great take on corporate politics.

    • I’m glad you like the illustrations! It was definitely a fantastic project to work on. 🙂

  2. […] Some of you might recall the really cool illustration project I did last week, the Hamlet playing cards. […]

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