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Stephen Sebastian Njoto
by stephennjoto on 30 Apr 2019 for Circus Challenge

1919, 17 year old Russian trapezist prodigy, with gravity defying performances, she came to be known as "Karakurt." Named after the widow spiders of Eurasia.

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Update - 30 Apr 2019

After some brainstorming, I decided to focus on the three elements of the trapezist, Russian attire (due to Russian setting) and the Karakurt widow spider. These will be the driving force of the design. 

Circus often appear very extravagant and glamorous, but we know that behind closes curtains there are darker truths, whether it be animals being punished for not behaving or dangerous training regimes for the performers. I wanted to zone in on this 'dark truth' to drive the narrative as I developed the character.

Looking into poses and studying different forms of trapeze performances to familiarise myself with the world of circus.

After some sketching on concepts, I turned them into black and white silhouettes to see how effective the character would read. Drawing influences from Russian attire and the Karakurt spider.

Exploring and developing for the character through storyboarding. The prodigy may appear superhuman to the audience, but her old injury is acting up again and she knows that her life will never be the same...but this is all she knows.

Final design for the character synthesising various elements from the iterations and looking into details of the costume too.

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