Beyond Imagination: Exploring Inspirations, Character Design, and Batman in the Wild West

Beyond Imagination: Exploring Inspirations, Character Design, and Batman in the Wild West

Intrigued by Artline Institute student Scotty Poquerusse's Rookies portfolio, we explore his creative process and the artistry of character design, unveiling the unique vision behind 'Batman Wild West Knight.'

We were intrigued by Artline Institute student, Scotty Poquerusse's Rookies portfolio, and asked him to share his creative process, exploring what inspired his unique concept art. In this article, we will delve into the art of character design, exploring Scotty's vision for 'Batman Wild West Knight,' and uncover the artistry that emerges from the interplay of limitations and spontaneity.

Exploration through inspiration

As a child, I always adored pop culture toys like Spider-Man and Batman action figures. Witnessing such believable yet fictional characters ignited my passion for drawing and painting, as it allowed me to create entirely new worlds, immersing the audience like a refreshing pool of imagination. I once read about the significance of studying three artists until a unique style emerges. Ahmed Aldoori, Jeremy Sorrell, and Luca Boni became my most significant inspirations in the field, though I could easily name a hundred more.

Embracing limitations has taught me the true essence of artistic expression.
It’s important to reflect over the years with analysis of our own tastes, deconstructing styles to understand what do we really want to make.

Other creative fields heavily influence me as well. I am inspired by fashion designers (Pierre Cardin, Dingyun Zhang), movie makers (Lynch, Kubrick), TV Shows (Twin Peaks, Severance), even Manga, Audiobooks, sculptures or any type of Art.

Music is also very important for me because lyrics and sounds resonate, leading to unconscious decision making. Because if we look at it, making art is about making decisions and solving problems, at least for me, there is a huge part of unconsciousness in this process.

Quick tip: Try zooming out the canvas during the WIP, if it looks good from far away (values, composition) it will work for the final piece.

For my personal art, I frequently begin by placing random images from Pinterest or my own photographs onto the canvas. I enjoy creating chaotic collages, where nonsense and creativity intertwine, often leading to unexpectedly delightful ideas. At times, things don't quite work out as planned, and that's alright; the most crucial lesson I've learned is to embrace letting go. Allowing everything to flow and accepting that it's okay to simply enjoy the process.

Shapes are extremely important, basic shapes mean a lot in our psychology.

I am a texture enthusiast, reveling in the vast array of textures available for exploration (even using a toothbrush to paint with ink).

I cherish the spontaneous nature of my creative process, dedicating no more than 30 seconds for gestures and a maximum of 2 hours for focused paintings, as it aligns perfectly with my preference for vibrant and unrestrained brushstrokes.
I love to explore in different ways, to try new brushes, new techniques after analyzing great artists.

‌‌Exploration in a specific project: Batman Wild West Knight

When it comes to character design in particular, it requires a specific thinking process: the clothing and fashion, the personality, the little details that make this character unique, etc. For instance, as I embarked on the design for Harley Quinn, I wanted her to maintain this cute and dangerous attitude; it's a huge part of her personality. The first sketches were too semi-realistic and not Bruce "Timmesque" enough. I decided to push the silhouettes later on.

For this project I wanted to create a fresh take on the batman universe. I chose the Western genre.

Through my journey, I have learned the significance of defining a character in just three words; take Catwoman, for instance, who embodies "seductive, mysterious, and untrustworthy." Embracing limitations is essential to maintain focus and coherence in character design. Visually, these three words translate into a beautiful face, triangular shape designs, and a thoughtfully selected colour palette that perfectly complements her personality.

The teachers and classmates from Artline Institute helped me to make the correct decisions, it’s important to hear their opinions since they have this exterior fresh look on it.

For my narrative, it felt instinctive to portray Batman as an aged, weathered vigilante, contrasting against vibrant, eccentric cowboys. The tale remains simple, akin to a character study reminiscent of 'Unforgiven,' rather than a grand action-packed spaghetti western. I'm drawn to the concept of a dark, unhurried, contemplative atmosphere, allowing the audience to interpret events independently, even if it diverges from my original character backstory. Originally envisioned as an animated movie, I can envision it equally well as a game akin to 'Death Stranding.'

I really wanted him to wear a poncho but it wasn’t working, giving up on ideas is essential if another one is better for the project !

If you would like to see more of this project in depth, please visit my Rookies portfolio here and feel free to reach out!

I created this project during my studies, and my experience at Artline Institute, which I joined a year ago, has given me invaluable insights into line of action, proportions, and presenting character art. Artline is also equipping me with knowledge about the production pipeline and technical terms for animation and game concepts.

I hope my words have sparked inspiration in you to delve into drawing and exploration. Special thanks to The Rookies' team for reaching out to me; I'm always delighted to share details about my artworks!‌‌