Thursday, March 3, 2011

More thoughts on names

It has been nearly agonizing to me over the past day or so struggling to find a name for my new creature. Those of you who follow me on twitter have some idea of what I have been going thru. I have been obsessed. During this time I have come to the following conclusions, which relate to my own experience only. Other artists will certainly have different opinions and experiences than this.
  1. I enjoy developing a story to go with my characters. I feel it gives them a feeling of authenticity, and helps to explain and define some of their unique quirks. It is a process of exploration that I sometimes leave behind, but is very satisfying when I give it my all.
  2. A name is important, but sometimes a general description can suffice. This advice was given to me by Ghoul Friday. Sometimes giving a creature a "scientific name" is more effective than a formal surname. For example, I feed the squirrels in my backyard, but I don't have individual names for each squirrel. calling an animal 'squirrel' defines what it should look like and how it should act. Sometimes that is enough.
  3. There are times when leaving details out allow for the viewer to fill in the blanks and build stories of their own. A backstory can be helpful to a character, but an outline is usually if a character really speaks to me and has alot to say, then it is my duty to tell the story.
  4. I have been obsessing over this issue, but that is ok. I feel like It has been a good experience and has stirred up some of the old creativity.
So without further ado, I present the first photograph of the mysterious Willowmite. A proper introduction to this creature will be unveiled this weekend.


  1. Mmm, Willowmite is a GREAT name!! Can't wait for his debut.
    We feed squirrels in our backyard, too. Remember the Muppets' Swedish Chef? All our critters are known as 'squirrely whirley' lol! Great post, couldn't agree more on all counts. :)

  2. thinks this might be love. Don't tell the Tar Phoenix though.

  3. What a mysterious name name...I like it. I am sure that he will fit it perfectly :)


  4. Ah, there she is. And blurry as she may be, this is exactly what I wouldn't want to see through sleep-dusted eyes.

    Willowmite is a wonderful name and a great choice for this elusive character. It feels mythic in a way that hints at campfire yarns or old ghost stories. I'm sure there will be much talk about this creature when she's finally unveiled.