This is my rendition of an Elemental Guardian. Thanks to Ira Marcks for the class, I'd highly recommend it for any illustrator who is struggling with designing characters.
Before I discuss the creative process behind this piece, I need to make a confession: I'm an absolute sucker for magical girl anime and shows akin to Sailor Moon, Winx Club and Miraculous Ladybug. So when I heard "Elemental Guardian", my mind instantly went towards that direction.
Once I saw the flowing petals in Georgia O'Keeffe's Hibiscus, I was reminded of a cape flowing in the wind, and I knew I had to make my Elemental Guardian somewhat related to the wind and the breeze. It was also the wispy form of these petals that would remind me of the works of Yoshitaka Amano, best known for his designs in the Final Fantasy series of games. While the latter inspiration did not take much form in this final design, I don't think I would have had the idea to incorporate the stamen of Hibiscus otherwise.
As for the actual colours in the design, I didn't want to stray too far from the source palette in Hibiscus. After all, I was drawn in by the copious amounts of yellow; not surprising, as it is known to catch a lot of attention, and I wanted my character to do the same. Both the colours yellow and magenta are colours related to happiness; but where yellow is associated with boundless energy and optimism, magenta is mellow and gentle, showing compassion and kindness. Goethe remarked in his colour wheel that yellow is a "good" colour, which, in addition to the previously noted associations with yellow and magenta, helped cement the idea of the superhero I had planned: A kind, compassionate soul who radiates positive energy and happiness in the face of danger.
Again, thanks to Ira for this class. I've probably taken this whole project report a bit too seriously, but jokes on you, I've enjoyed writing all of this down! If anyone has taken on the task of reading this essay, I hope you have a fantastic week ahead of you.
See you in the next class project!