Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Adventures of Singapore Girl

This character design was done for my character design class. We were to create a cartoon mascot for Singapore. I started off toying with ideas of doing an orangutan as a tribute to the late Ah Meng and a revision of the Singapore Parliament mascot Parley (a winged lion) which I did for a proposal to them previously (they didn't take up the project so I kept the character design). But the orangutan didn't quite work out, and Parley wasn't something I was particularly interested in developing.

Then I sketched out a Sarong Party Girl (SPG), but of course nobody would want Singapore to be associated with those, so I dropped the idea almost immediately. It was then a friend of mine suggested the Singapore Airlines (SIA) air stewardess, otherwise known as the Singapore Girl. Now, that was a start.

After some sketches, I found that the character didn't have the right look. Either they looked too complex or sultry (I didn't want an image of a vixen), or their hair wasn't right. But one random sketch with very simple eyes, lips and a nice pose seemed to stand out, and that became the final version above with minimal revisions.

I decided to keep the sweet and friendly look of the character (much against one friend's suggestion to give her more 'personality', of which I felt she sufficiently had) because it fit in with the kind of job she was doing. But I also gave her some special abilities and equipment which suited her image:
  1. Super Strength - from hauling all the luggage to the overhead compartments
  2. Super Hearing - to hear the faintest cry for help (or the alert button buzzer)
  3. Super Slim - the ability to squeeze between the narrowest spaces (such as airplane aisles)
  4. Non-slip Sandals - (compulsory part of the stewardess' wardrobe) which allows her to even walk on ice without slipping
  5. Danger Radar - able to detect trouble brewing from anywhere in the aircraft (particularly good for sniffing out terrorists)
  6. Multi-lingual ability - to communicate with people from different cultures and language groups

My instructor suggested I created a comic strip out of this. But I think SIA may take legal action first if they ever get wind of it.

The character Singapore Girl (above) is © to me (Favian Ee), Feb 2008. The real Singapore Girl is a brand and trademark owned by Singapore Airlines.