As a drawing exercise and for inspiration whilst the piece was being created, I have several images on the theme of the burlesque act ‘Machete Bears All’. Have a look at some sketchbook scribbles:
The bears are dressed for entertainment – wearing human items is deemed cute but is at odds when worn by a wild animal. Perhaps lulling you into a false sense of security, the human aspects make it more familiar and therefore less of a threat.
For entertaining bear references, I thought of Baloo from the Jungle Book, Yogi Bear and Winnie the Pooh. All loveable characters defined by their either slightly clumsy, preoccupied by food and/or friendly demanors. Certainly a far cry from the wild animals they really are. I couldn’t have loveable bears without a pic-a-nic basket, a tin of salmon and a jar of honey.
Or indeed without an affable walk. Baloo is perfect for this so studied his gait in the disney Jungle Book clips on you tube. I can’t tell if you can see from my sketchbook notes, but I could tell he carried a lot of weight in his hips, twisting as he walked, arms swinging wide, his whole frame quite loose – very relaxed with no tension held in the body. At complete odds with my good posture dance background!
Below you can see the translation of costumes from bare to bear. Turning what you expect into something you don’t. The character performing for your entertainment, becoming the entertaining bear. In the act, the bear cannot get into the food in its picnic basket and is forced to revert to its feral state when it gets angry. For this I watched lots of Eric Bana clips turning into the hulk!
After turning feral, the bear eats a member of the audience and is much happier for having eaten something.
Ok, so I’m biased. I a) painted the mug myself and b) included 2 of my favourite animals. I like animals that roar and have sharp teeth and claws and generally cause havoc in a wild animal sort of way.
So whilst on holiday in Wales with some friends, we spent a wet afternoon indoors painting mugs. After an initial mind blank instigated by being faced with ‘blank mug syndrome’ it dawned on me that I had the power to create the most amazing mug in the world. I am proud to present to you, my Bear Lion Mug:
The flash on the camera does make the bear look like it’s been startled, opposed to heading off to go a-mauling. And the lion oddly looks like he’s posing for the camera. Such is my talent to make ferocious creatures look cute…
I was able to add ‘RAWR!’ to the bottom of my mug so that it would be slowly revealed as I finished my drink. My only regret is that I didn’t manage to add a fez somewhere. I like fezs. But they don’t have teeth or claws so I guess it would be out of place. Perhaps I can blue-tac one on as an optional extra.
It’s been about 8 months since that whole ‘redundancy’ incident at the greetings card studio. It felt a little ouch at the time but now I have a new job of awesomeness (working at a dance school) and running away to eastern Europe helped. I also feel that enough time has elapsed for me to finally confess something…
I doctored the greetings cards I was designing.
Of course, I didn’t ever send them to print, it’s not like I wanted to lose my job! (cue wry grin of irony). Besides, the amendments weren’t exactly subtle but it helped get it out of my system.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the work I did, but those of you that know me should appreciate it was neccessary – that there are only so many uber cute bears and woodland creatures a girl like me can take. Not to mention the dry traditional scenes of tractors, sleepy villages and flowers.
So, for the first time, I’m going to share these with you, the people that weren’t my colleagues.
(Click on an image to see it larger)
I am going to a cabaret night where the audience is encouraged to dress up according to a theme. The theme we have been given is the circus. Now, I have a somewhat extensive fancy dress wardrobe and I like to be able to wear costumes more than once – so I am updating a bear costume that I already have into a Wonderous Dancing Bear of Rave. For some inspiration I drew some dancing bears to give me an idea of what I’d like my costume to include. I plan to blog some how-to ‘s if ever you find yourself with a need to dress as a dancing bear…
A few practice drawings to get the feel of drawing bears
Some ideas for costume accessories etc
Bear – ears/fur/claws/muzzle
Accessories – tutu/fez
How To ‘s for each of these to follow! I’m looking forward to putting it all together, I can bear-ly wait!