10 July 2009

144 Aliens.






It's a good bet this is by far the strangest project I will ever will work on.

Back in 1998 Temple University, Moss Rehabilitation (at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia) and the University of Iowa were jointly conducting an aphasia study to determine why patients could remember certain aspects but completely forget others. The idea was to test them using variations in color and shape. Why they chose aliens I do not know, but it sounded like a pretty cool job to me.

I was given certain rules. They all had to be humanoid males, appear sentient, wear clothing, have two legs, and only have one head. Each battery had specific rules like having 4 arms, a tail, something growing off of the head, no tail, or a combination. The last 4 sets (98-144) were of the same alien species but of different shapes, sizes and clothing.

At first this sounds like a really easy job, but after your mind has been so heavily influenced by Movies (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc) and Comic Books (most notably Jim Lawson and Peter Laird's Planet Racers at this point in my life) it was quite tough to design this vast amount of characters and have them look totally unique, so my apologies if some look a little too familiar.

After some time I developed a fun process where I would close my eyes and haphazardly scribble. I would then open my eyes and turn that scribble into an alien face which would then help me design the rest of the body. It's funny how those random scribbles aliens turned out to be some of my favorites. I teach this process at Hussian for a Fantasy Art project and the students really have a lot of fun with it and do some great stuff.

All 144 aliens can be seen here.





All 144 aliens can be seen here.
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