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Ellie & Bloop
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Ellie & Bloop

Michaela Kindlova
by michaelakindlova on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Hello! My name is Michaela Kindlova and I'm 25 years old. I love bright colours and fun characters and I would like to share my project with you. "Ellie & Bloop" tells a story about one unexpected friendship... and a birthday wish!

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The Story

Making a birthday wish never seemed so important to Ellie as it did this year. This year, everything was different. For the first time, she wasn‘t celebrating with her friends. This year, she was sitting in front of her birthday cake all alone, in a new house, in a new town, bored and sad at the same time. And so she made a wish, wishing for a new friend... Little did she know, that her wish will come true but with an unexpected turn.

Ellie & Bloop

Ellie is a girl who recently moved with her parents to a new town. their new home is beautiful, but quite far from the town center. The house is located on the outskirts of it, which is nice but can make feel it‘s residents isolated sometimes. 

Ellie has been always a quiet, shy, young lady, who enjoys staying at home, reading books, and drawing, but since she can‘t see her old friends anymore, she became even more lonely and introverted. She doesn‘t have anyone to talk to or spend her time with at school or play her favourite board games after school anymore. All of this changes once this strange cute big blue creature appears...

 Bloop is a giant creature who appeared on Ellie‘s 7th birthday with the intention to become her new friend. His name Bloop is a combination of the word “blue“ & “scoop“, which also sounds a little bit, when pronounced, like a short version of “blueberry“. 

Bloop is a type of creatures that act as guides and guardians to children in need of them. They are magical beings that have the ability to become invisible if needed and their appearance is usually altered to appease the child. In this case, Bloop is basically a big fluffy plushie with cute wings (that look like they were drawn), a night light to make the child feel safe in the dark, and a big pocket on his belly which serves as storage where stuff can just appear/disappear. 

He is very caring, playful, cheerful, and clever, and have the best intentions. He doesn‘t want to cause any harm to others.

Ellie's 7th Birthday

This illustration portraits Ellie at her 7th birthday party, alone, because no one turned up. This is only a few moments before she decides to make a wish and blow out the candle on her cake, wishing for a friend who would make her feel better... 

My Turn Now!

This illustration captures a sweet moment of Ellie playing a board game with Bloop. She is thinking about her next move in the game whereas Bloop is just glad to see her smile and be happy. To be honest, he doesn‘t care about the game too much - he doesn‘t care if he wins or not - he‘s just enjoying being in Ellie‘s company. Ellie is the opposite. She is super excited that there‘s finally someone she can spend her time with. She is impatient to play the game and is determined to win! 

A Little Adventure

In this picture, I tried to capture how would people react to seeing Bloop in the streets, which created quite a funny composition. My favourite is the dog sniffing Bloop‘s leg!

Illustration Thumbnails

A few more initial sketches of possible scenarios that I could capture Ellie & Bloop in.

Ellie's Room

Ellie's room is a spacious attic room filled with a lot of toys and creative tools. It tells you more about Ellie and what kind of kid she is. You can also notice board games in the corner with an aquarium on top of them as they haven't been used in ages... However, Bloop's arrival's gonna change that!

I decided to support the environmental design of Ellie‘s room with a more detailed painting of some of the props which can be found there. I tried to create a visible difference between certain materials (plush, wood, metal, mirror, plastic) to achieve more effective visuals.

Ellie

Ellie likes to spend her time caught up in her own world, or in the ones she often reads about. She enjoys drawing and creating things to express herself in a replacement for talking to her actual friends who she can’t meet up with anymore due to moving. She often wishes for a friend, someone who would help her come out of her shell. And because she is still a kid, she doesn’t care too much about tidying her room or brushing her hair as a lot of children do.

Initial Sketches

This initial stage allowed me to experiment with various shapes and sizes of Ellie‘s character, but in the end, I decided to go with a more natural look to create contrast between her and Bloop.

Bloop

Bloop represents the fantastical element in the story. He is a mythical creature who takes over the role of Ellie’s new friend and is someone she can look up to. Shortly after their first meeting, they form a special bond between them which is the key element of the story narrative.

Bloop is a gentle giant, which makes him a little bit clumsy sometimes, but he means no bad. He is basically a big huggable plushie with a big heart and one life purpose – to accompany allocated child and help them open up and grow and say goodbye to them when they don’t need him anymore.

His character was inspired by imaginary childhood friends that children often have, however, Bloop is a real living creature who exists in our world. (Similarly to an episode of one of my favourite TV shows Supernatural, where „imaginary friends“ were in fact, real creatures called Zannas). Moreover, the fact that he is a magical being also allows him to use a little bit of magic from time to time, which opens a whole new level of fun!

Initial Sketches

Bloop‘s preparatory sketches were inspired by kid‘s toys and plushies, hence the soft circular shapes. I really tried to come up with as many design ideas as I could in order to explore Bloop‘s character and tried out what captures his personality the best.

Zbrush Sculpts

In the end, I also want to show you Zbrush sculpts of the characters, which were later tweaked in Photoshop and serve simply as a proof of concept and 3D visualisation of them.


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