So this happened. As I got to building out more of these kawaii/barrio infused characters and objects, I got to thinking of ways of tying them all together. The classic game, lotería (a cooler, more visual, and definitely more Mexican version of bingo, if you’re not familiar), soon came to mind. Yes, bad parodies (and some good ones) of it have been done to death. This pairing just seemed natural though. Plus it’s not cultural appropriation when you’re actually Mexican. You’ve got me there on the kawaii part though.
Here’s the first in what will hopefully be a series where I merge the kawaii look (essentially, cute or adorable) with common scenes/characters from around the hood in Los Angeles. Particularly the areas you might refer to as the barrio – East LA and South East LA, where I grew up. I was partly interested in creating an ironic juxtaposition, but, I can also admit, the look has grown on me. The common anthropomorphization, giving inanimate objects faces and expressions, takes me back to Pee Wee’s Playhouse, which both inspired and traumatized me as a child. Chairy, anyone?
I start here with a paletero, or popsicle/icescream vendor. If you don’t know about them, ask any Mexican.
I recently was called up again by LAtinas – LAtina Public Service Academy, an education and professional mentorship program targeting girls from primarily Latino areas of Los Angeles, this time, to help promote their upcoming mixer at Yxta, the trendy bar and Mexican restaurant located in Los Angeles’ Arts District. With the colorfulness of the venue in mind, I whipped up the above e-flyer. Everyone is welcome to join in on July 15th during their happy hour, from 5 -7 PM.
I’ve continued my explorations into “Low Poly” modeling and rendering, and above is one of my sample renders. True to my Mexican roots, I started this scene with a sombrero, and ended up rounding it out with a maguey (agave plant) and a nondescript bottle that we’ll just say is tequila. Personally, I’ve become a fan of the style, and the abstractions and the overall minimalist aesthetic it introduces. Plus, I won’t lie, objects are just way easier to build when you’re not worried about realism or any type of strict precision. However, I’m finding the simplicity of the forms ends up placing more weight on proper lighting, which is an interesting challenge in itself.
More explorations into low poly 3D likely coming soon.