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Old 16-07-2012, 04:12 AM   #2
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Digital Painting - Gold: Winner of a speed painting challenge! - Issue reason: The Circus Digital Painting - Bronze: 3rd place in a speed painting challenge! - Issue reason: 3rd place in a speed painting challenge! Digital Painting - Bronze: 3rd place in a speed painting challenge! - Issue reason: 3rd place in a speed painting challenge ''Revenge'' 
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hello all, sorry I haven't been so active in this challenge as of yet. I had been thinking about ideas for a while so I decided it is time to start sketching.

in my old speed paint posted above I chose to go with an iconic, old-fashioned "big top" circus tent in a rural area. this is more or less the image that jumps to mind for me when I hear the word "circus." so for this challenge, I think I'm going to go in a totally different direction. right now the concept I've hit upon is a sort of near-future alternate reality type of circus, but I'm still working out exactly what that means.

to get ideas I've been thinking about circuses in a general way and one thing I started to reflect on is the role of the actual performers in the circus and their relationship with the audience. unlike the performers in other types of live shows people might encounter, most of the time people do not know who particular circus performers are. there are exceptions, of course, with some performers becoming famous enough to be known by name, but the vast majority of them are essentially anonymous and interchangeable in the eyes of the audience. even if names or stage names are given, they are scarcely remembered for very long after the show. whether they are clowns, acrobats, jugglers, or animal trainers, all of them follow the same routine: they come out into the spotlight, do their thing in front of the crowd, everybody claps, and then they leave. that is usually the extent of the interaction between audience and performer. and really that is all most people ever seem to expect.

I wanted to play with this idea of the "anonymous circus performer" and I was reminded of a sketch I did a while ago (it is the small figure in the top left of the image below) of a person wearing a costume with a round, faceless helmet-mask of some sort. this made me start thinking along the lines of circus performers not just being figuratively "faceless," but literally, as well. in this future circus I'm imagining the performers have their faces obscured and wear special costumes so as to symbolically forego their humanity to become "entertainment objects" that deliver spectacle to an audience that does not acknowledge them as individuals but rather as part of a larger tableau that is designed to amuse them. in some sense this is basically what many types of circus performers are already like, but I wanted to push this notion in a more stylized direction.

whew, sorry if that rambling didn't make any sense, but I'm just thinking out loud, here. I'm trying to take this challenge as an opportunity to really make something that feels like it is grounded in something. not sure if I'm going about it the right way, but I'm still learning.

anyway, below are some sketches I did based on the above ideas. I'm not sure if these really capture the concept, but I'll continue to work on it.
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