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ARCHIMERA- A.R. Christensen Illustration and Concept

ARCHIMERA- A.R. Christensen Illustration and Concept: January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Frazetta Tribute Reloaded

I spent too much time on the acrylic version of this piece to let it rot in all its foamcore warped glory.  I took the best parts into Photoshop, and gave it another go.  I'm pretty happy with it so far... I still have some work to do on the background and gems on the monster.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This was a projection for the Snow Queen.  I went a little crazy with brushes and textures but it was good to loosen up.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Another character from the hypothetical sci-fi Ramayana.  This one is Ravana, the demon-nemesis of Rama. 

Makara-Son of the Monkey King.

For one of my final projects I designed this little guy.  He is loosely drawn from Hindu Mythology.  I imagined him as the spitfire little son of the monkey god Hanuman, existing in a sci-fi version of the epic Ramayana.  Perhaps he accompanies Rama and Hanuman on their adventures, or maybe attempts to help but ultimately causes more problems for them.  He is cute and feisty, an agile fighter, and a little annoying.

His weapon is a sun mace that doubles as a speeder. It's a little to heavy for him to lug around on his own, so the rocket helps him swing it.

Bandit Girl, in the flesh.

I had the privilege of working with the illustrator Marcos Chin and director David Drake on a theatrical adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's short story The Snow Queen. My primary responsibility in the show was to envision and construct the costume for the Bandit Girl character (described by a classmate as "Socially Awkward Girl with a Knife.")

The Bandit Girl is a really fun and quirky character. She rescues the heroine Gerda from a band of savages, drags her to a cave against her will, and then releases her after a dramatic change of heart. To me, the character represents the untamed and desperate qualities of human nature. She is someone who has never been able to emotionally connect with people because of the dangers of living in the wilderness.
For my early designs, I wanted the costume to be both sexy and earthy, and indicate the season of Fall. I'll admit, I went through some pretty hilarious sketches before I settled on a final idea.
As Marcos and I discussed it further, we decided to make the costume multi-layered, centering the design around a wolf head dress and a cloak made of leaves. I also decided to toss some catholic school girl, roller-derby, and gold bling into the mix.

I found it really interesting to design for a physical costume.  I was much more focused on the concept and materials than the actual technical aspects of the drawing.  The real work was yet to come...

It turns out the David asked me to play the character in the show (I wasn't too surprised...) so I had the  learning experience of figuring out how to make a costume that fit me. Through much trial and error I managed to construct the headdress from a bike helmet and cardboard, devise an excuse for a shirt out of white fabric and safety pins, and don't even ask me how the skirt managed to stay on my body, but it made it through 3 performances. (Hot glue is my best friend.)  Here are some shots the final product taken during the show: