We were beginning to feel a little lost amongst all our character sketches and form options so we decided to put together a wall-sized moodboard that can hopefully streamline the process towards a definite direction and give us multiple starting points at the same time. The moodboard has come together as a meeting point for western urban vinyl -art toy style and really intricate, traditional Indian craft style which is what we hope to translate onto our toys as well. So we had references from both Kidrobot and Handmade in India, as well as this really cool Brazilian artist who has illustrated Indian gods and goddesses in his own unique style. Some cool stuff we learnt from this exercise : every Indian handicraft uses a library of textures, patterns and line work that defines its graphic language, much like an identifier of the craft style (context!), but none of them have managed to come up with expressive facial features (stagnancy?) which western urban vinyl captures so well (playful, awesome). So an interesting direction would be to combine the textures and patterns of an Indian craft (maybe even colour) with western character illustration.
Chris got a taste of the excruciating Delhi heat on a field trip we took, visiting the various state emporiums and handicraft shops that dot the city’s shopping landscape. We saw a lot of turnwood toys and a lot of hand-carved and painted wooden toys as well. There’s only so much you can do with turnwood in terms of form but the lacquer finish is one of the best finishes out there. Initially we had thought of working with the turnwood lacquer cluster in Channapatnam (down south, near Bangalore) but I feel hand painting is definitely a skill we can use to our advantage. Banaras would be a good starting point. Scroll down for all the pictures that Chris clicked while pretending to message on his iPhone!