My approach to concepting and executing personal work is very loose and open to change, as opposed to my approach when doing work that is designed by someone else and requires mostly technical knowledge just for execution. Therefore the idea sometimes changes completely and sometimes evolves during the progress (Fig.01).
For this character I started with the idea of mind control; the crippling effect of not thinking for oneself and becoming dependent on others to think for you. I started off with a character bound by a straight jacket and a typewriter keyboard shoved in his mouth. This was back in 2011, and I took this idea almost through to the finish by creating an environment for the character and even doing textures and making renders (you can see it on my website: www.ocularite.com). But, there was a lack of impact in the image and later I felt maybe the environment was actually taking away from the in-your-face look I was trying to capture. So, I decided to get rid of the environment and integrate the typewriter into the anatomy of the character, as if he has grown up with it and adapted to it. In the meantime I was looking at a lot of sculpture busts from great artists such as Jordu Schell and Aris Kolokontes, and works by fine artists such as Olivier de Sagazan and Gottfried Helnwein (Fig.02).
I really liked the simplicity of their presentation, which directs the attention onto the character and all the interesting things that are going on in the character itself. Since I wanted the final image to instantly grab the viewer's attention and make them think about the concept for a moment, I decided to get rid of the environment and turn the attention strictly to the character.
In sculpting I try to pay close attention to the flow of forms, shadows and highlight, wrinkles and creases in the sculpt because that is what makes the sculpt visually interesting and coherent. Some excellent examples of this can be seen in the works of Chet Zar. Looking at his designs is a very good way to study how forms can complement each other to make a visually appealing whole. You can see in Fig.03 how the forms I have used are influenced by his paintings.