Author Biography: Primer Workshops

The biography project was the last and biggest project we have done so far. The brief itself was quite simple: Each student was given one person from history. We had to research the person’s life, but also look into the time, place and culture she lived in. We then had to create a biography based on these information and events in her life we found interesting. It could be a book, an animation or a series of physical objects.

My character was Medea, Princess of Corinth and wife of Jason, the woman who kills her children. I thought this was exciting, especially since I am interested in mythology and drama. However, my excitement could be the source of some of my later problems. But I am getting ahead of me. Let us begin with the first workshops.

This workshop was quite simple. The idea was to first draw one image from imagination. Then we had to draw the same image based on references before we ultimately had to draw from memory. I decided to draw Glauce, the princess Jason tries to remarry. The left drawing was drawn from imagination, while the drawing on the right was based on reference. The crayons drawing beneath was entirely drawn from memory.

The following images and composites of another workshop were we had six minutes trying to portray ten interesting trivia that inspired us. Since Medea’s story is quite limited in itself, I also included trivia from Greece and ancient dramas. For example, did you know that there are never more than two actors on stage during the whole play? (PS: it was another student who added the blond pigtails in the last image.)

These images were experiments in expression. Instead of reusing clichéd expressions and imagery to convey emotions, we had to relate to the character, try to find similarities that we could use. After gaining some helpful advice from my tutor, I focused on the feelings of alienation and loneliness as  well as bitterness.

The last images were taken from another workshop that I stumbled upon. The tutor asked us to create simple play sets and then photograph them in different angles, lights and background to get a feel for composition and expression. The figures are based on an early idea I had, but that I either forgot or ignored. I also feel kind of guilty that I misplaced the photographs until recently, whereupon I did not use them at all in the final product. Maybe for the future?