Odd the Otter

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This project began with a few simple sketches. I always enjoy drawing characters and coming up with stories to distract myself from the pressures of my fine art practice. Many of these stories remain as such; just a few doodles in a variety of notebooks and sketchbooks. However, I was very drawn to the feasibility of bringing one story in particular to life: the story of Odd. He came about in a random fashion; I painted a small watercolor of a deadpan otter and decided that even with his blank stare, there seemed to be a lot of life in him. I knew this character had to go somewhere, but I did not know how or where at the time. I continued to doodle Odd and eventually came up with several other characters he would encounter on his travels. His facial expression never changed no matter what situation I imagined him in, which developed the way I saw his personality growing. I wanted to tell the story visually, but was indecisive as to how. Comic books seemed like an obvious answer, but I found it unnatural to paint in a segmented fashion. With a fine art background, I could quickly invent single-panel compositions, and so the first storyboards were somewhat of a hybrid between segmented comic pages and cohesive paintings. My goal for this project was to develop these initial ideas into a story that held appeal across age groups and provided both entertainment and symbolic significance in relation to modern social issues.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Print Media, Fiction, Animals