Assignment One: You Are A Character!

For my first assignment I am to introduce myself to my tutor to give them the opportunity to know more about me and my artistic interests.

Firstly, I will be researching 3 different cartoonists that have created their own self-portraits.

I chose the artists below because I like their art style and know their cartoons prior to this exercise.

Artist 1:

Rebecca Sugar – American Animator and Screenwriter. Creator of the Cartoon Network animated series ‘Steven Universe’.

Artist 2:

Dana Terrace – American Cartoonist, Animator, Writer, Director, Producer and Voice Actress. Creator of Disney’s animated series ‘The Owl House’.

Artist 3:

Hayao Miyazaki – Japanese Animator, Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Author, and Manga Artist. He is a co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Some of Hayao’s film creations are: Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porko Rosso, Princess Mononoko and probably the most well know Spirited Away.

Analysing all three artists:

Artist 1 (Rebecca) and Artist 2 (Dana) have quite a lot of similarities and I think this is mostly down to their age. They are both in their early 30’s and draw mostly digitally in comparison to Art 3 (Hayao) who draws more traditionally, sketching out his storyboards and character designs using fine liners on paper. I chose these three artists as they all mean something to me. I have either watched or am watching their films/series now and have followed Rebecca and Dana on Twitter and Instagram to follow their recent works as well as looking back as their old work. I enjoy looking at the similarities between the cartoonists professional work (when it gets used on tv) and their own personal work. For instance Dana (Artist 2) is working for Disney creating a weird but PG rated series that kids can watch but her work on Instagram or Twitter is either really grotesque or personal (about her mental health etc) most of her personal work she marks with TW which means ‘trigger warning’ for anyone who gets triggered by seeing blood or gore in illustrations. I think Dana’s self portrait really resembles her as well as her personality. I like the fact that she uses a little creature in most of her personal work (the one shown on her head in the illustrations above) and it is a visual representation of Dana as well, she has also created a few comic strips using this small creature as well, including a comic that describes what Dana has to go through each night with her insomnia. Rebecca normally captures her current style or how she wants to be represented (e.g. if her haircut changes or how she is feeling that day). There’s also a lot less detail in Rebecca’s self portrait in comparison to Dana’s, she uses a much thicker pen when drawing herself digitally. She also is known for her sketchy and somewhat ‘messy’ colouring in of her drawings. I think she thinks as long as the colours are there is doesn’t matter if they aren’t within the lines. Finally my third artist Hayao has the most simplistic self portrait of all three artists. He jots down an image of himself drawing and then redraws himself as a pig underneath, maybe suggesting two different realities where Hayao is mirroring a different ‘pig’ Hayao getting stressed about making a film. Another thing to consider is that one of the Studio Ghibli film called ‘Porko Rosso’ has a main character who is a pig-man so maybe Hayao was sketching this character out?

Next, I will write a 100 word personal statement that describes cartoons I used to watch and watch now as well as my visual interests. I will be creating an A3 image where I am in the middle of the illustration surrounded by the cartoons I like. I am using A3 as it was advised by the unit coursebook. Finally I will take a photo of my work and add it to this learning log.

My 100 word personal statement: (literally 100 words!)

“My name is Tabitha and this portrait shows me with images of my interests. I am 24 years old, mixed race, live with my mum Natasha and cat Tilly and love Illustration, Photography and Graphic Design! Cartoons have been always such a massive part of my life, especially during my childhood. I enjoyed watching a variety of shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Pingu (although that’s more of a stop motion), Dexter’s Laboratory, Ren and Stimpy and Studio Ghibli Films. I enjoy giving newer shows a chance as well so I have been watching The Owl House and Rick and Morty.”

My creative process:

My Thumbnail Sketch:

Working out the composition of the characters:

Initial Sketch:

Applying Fineliner:

Applying Colour (I used colouring pencils):

Final Image:


Overall I am really happy with how my first assignment turned out. It really was nice drawing all the cartoons I grew up with again as well as the ones I still watch. I rarely draw other people’s cartoons any more as I am trying to find my own style and feel like I could rely to much on other people’s art styles. I think this image really does sum up a lot about me and my interests. I decided to add my mum and my cat into the image also as they are important to me. It was strange trying to get all the characters in the same image as I had to think about how tall or short they were in comparison to the other cartoons e.g. Pingu (small) and Rick and Morty (tall). I changed my mind about drawing the witch in the air above all the other characters from ‘Studio Ghibli’ as I thought it might be too hard to draw in comparison to the other cartoons that I have drawn. If I was to change anything it would be to stick with my original line art (with colour) instead of the thicker line that I added at the end, I feel as though I the thicker line made the image a bit messy and in some places the pen I used has bled and made the line unequal.

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