FMP – Tea Fox Illustrations

While looking for some inspiration for design ideas for the fox designs for my project, I suddenly remembered one of my biggest inspirations for design style that I came across prior to even starting the course. Sarah Graybill (aka Tea Fox Illustrations) is an online artist from america who I am a personal fan of (having bought several of her pieces myself).

Her style (as the name implies) is based around the use of tea stained paper, pencils, ink and other interesting medias with most of her works being related to the mythical kitsune (as well as some other oriental creatures (some exciting, some original)). She also creates depictions of already existing characters from games and shows in her unique style.

Original attempted to take inspiration from her works during a pair of projects before a arrived on this course, however, both ended up taking different paths to what I expected.  The one of the main aspects of her designs which grabbed my attention after first seeing her works was how the foxes themselves were designed in such a way that they no long appeared as normal foxes. All of them had very stylised forms, with some looking like other mythical creatures by themselves as some could have horns, stand on their hind legs, have skeletal body parts, or even posses human-like features such as long, flowing hair. Colouration of the foxes also often consisted of mostly dark browns and pastel whites, rather than the traditional oranges of real life foxes. Almost all of her foxes also possessed white, featureless masks or fur around their faces which created the illusion of a mask.

The second reason why I took an interest in her designs was also due to her (from what I can assume to be her mascot figure) character designs of “fox women”, Kitsune in human(like) form. While other depictions of fox women would be limited to just a normal looking girl, with just the ears or tails visible (as foxes were known for sometimes having imperfect human transformation), Sarah’s depictions have much more unique features, such as the women having the legs and paws/claws of foxes instead of human hands and feet. I felt like it honestly gave the foxes a much more fitting and attractive style to the works as Kitsune were well known for their shapeshifting, so having unusual/varying appearances seems just fitting.

Considering all of this, I would very much like to use a design for the Kitsune spread inspired by the works of Sarah. I will of course have to take my own spin on the overall designs of the Kitsune as to push myself away from being a flat-out copy cat designer as well as to make my own depictions of Kitsune.


Video Evaluation – “Thinking Like a Traveler”

The second image which we were tasked of viewing was another video about the concept  creative thinking and how to use it effectively. This time, the video is a clip taken from a much longer presentation by a speaker called Tom Kelley. In the clip he goes on to speak of one of the many habits which he came up with that help people see the world with more clear ideas.

The idea itself was to “think like a traveler”, to see the world around you with a fresh set of eyes by imagining yourself as a traveling foreigner/visitor, as he mentions how when people go on holidays to new places, their brains go into an adrenaline-like state where the notice everything around them due to being in an unfamiliar location. He says that by forcing yourself into this state that you can become more self aware of the world around you and improve your way of thinking.

I honestly find this idea to be a very interesting concept as the idea of seeing a familiar place with new eyes can lead to some odd discoveries and ideas you may have never noticed before. This concept could be very helpful within the future for projects/tasks that require me to “notice” more, such as describing a location at home or such. I also enjoy the conviction of the speaker Tom as well, as he puts a lot of emphasis on his ideas as well as how he try to communicate and convince the students he talks to to also pick up the good habits he mentions.

Video Evaluation – “The Health Benefits of Going Outside”

As one of the recent tasks given to us after the return from the easter holidays, I was asked to watch several videos about various environmental and thinking related content. This video was about the mental (and physical) health benefits of going outside and just sitting/walk within a beautiful part of nature, such as a forest.

The video was very thought provoking in terms of how we live our daily lives mostly indoors, with very little time spent outside in the fresh air away from any forms of electronics. The main “character” of the video is an office dweller who talks and performs various relaxing activities with eco-therapists in order to learn the importance of spending some time in the outdoors without touching their phone.

Some of the realisations that I made while watch this video is that I may spend way too much of my time indoors, and that as of a result feel fatigued and somewhat unhappy because of this. From some moments of my own experience, going on walks in parks or on beaches (etc.) has always given me some help to think, as the fresh air combined with movement have improved my mood for  when trying to come up with new ideas. I’ve also felt that the simple act of walking can help my mind gain some momentum for imagination, something which I regularly do at home.

Having watched this video, I have noticed that I may need to rethink how much time I try working at home or in college, I may possibly have to find some times within the week to sit outside to brainstorm for my ideas from now on. I find many of the concepts brought up with this video to be very relatable and true when it comes to creative/effective thinking and I will have to take it to heart about subject of my own mental health.