Sunday, October 26, 2008

TYL Katara Adult Costume

Age: 24
Height: Between 5’6” and 5’7”

About the design:
I’m going to try to make this much shorter than the Toph thing. Hopefully I can avoid an inane wall of text that no one will really give a shit about.

I actually had an idea for an older Katara a while ago. Deviant Art removed that painting for some reason, but some of you may remember it. (It’s in one of my blog posts if you’re interested in seeing it.)

Katara is a difficult character to pin down, describe and ultimately translate. Whenever I see a description of her, I usually find that it either exaggerates or glosses over her flaws. As such, I think it’s hard to really portray an older Katara wrong. Instead of focusing on what not to do, you have to pin down one of many possibilities.

I think Katara is one of the most accurate depictions of an adolescent girl ever put to TV. In the series her personality is volatile and ever changing. One moment she’s the voice of reason, the next she’s trying to justify stealing or committing murder. In the first season her attitude towards Aang changes and fluctuates from admiration, to jealousy, to maternal, and so on and so on.

As Katara would age, and as puberty passed, this volatile nature would probably go away, or at the very least, be subdued. Most likely, it would merely be subdued. Rarely does a character trait that overwhelming just dissapear. So with this design I want to give a hint of that youthful volatility but still communicate that she had matured as well.

Physically, I wanted to describe this design as “A babe that exhibits a beautifully controlled and asymmetric flow.” I wanted her body to have kind of a wave like quality to it. Her stance is the first attempt to communicate this. All of her weight is on one side giving her an asymmetric balance. Her features (hips, breasts, shoulder, hair, etc.) culminate to give this wave like quality across the countour of her left side, but then there is a much more rigid right side to counteract and balance the figure. This decision further compliments my idea of giving her a kind of under control volatility. Were she to shift her weight, surely she would be more stable, but she chooses not to. She remains stable by conscious choice of how to balance herself.

I also wanted her to be attractive. I wanted her to look kind of like a model. She needed to be “a siren godess.”

To that end, I also chose to age her face a bit. Pick up any anatomy book, any good one at least, and you’ll find a basic layout of how a face can change over time. The fact is, what is said is not gospel. Not all faces grow and change like that. But , our faces do indeed change as we age. Yet, we remain recognizable. I changed Katara’s face to appear more adult, but still retain her innate attractiveness.

I’ve been trying to do that with all of these characters. Age their face, but keep them recognizable.

I also chose to make her well endowed, and to give her shapely hips. I did this to communicate that she’s gone through puberty. I put these two elements together in a way that I think makes her very attractive and shows her obvious age. When it comes to endowments, with Toph, that was just ridiculousness, this attempt is meant to be attractive. Of course, whether or not I succeed is based entirely on the viewer’s tastes. Her hips and legs are thicker to give her a kind of dancer like quality.

Honestly, I read through all of this and think I succeeded more in my previous painting than in this character design. Oh well.

Looks like I failed in making this shorter. Oh well. Maybe Aang’s or Sokka’s will be shorter.

Sorry for the blathering once again.

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