Hello, Wild, Wild Web of the World!
I’m here to announce that the silent, walk-about character “FAUN” is finally ready and eager to work!
From another dimension (possibly from out of a wardrobe), a stunned, mythological warrior fauna has stumbled into our world. A warrior princess in her own universe, she must now come to grips with all the strange wonders of this modern planet earth.
Email Rachel for full details about booking Faun for your events — Corporate and festival!
This news and updates can be viewed on my “Performance” page.
A few years ago I began posting what was the beginning of a new performance project for street and corporate functions. I decided some how, for some reason at some point to become a good mythological faun. None of this cheese, fairy, sparkles, ivy stuff, but a Narnia-esque warrior princess, straight from another world. Silent, strong, and straight from the wardrobe into your venue - walking around and experiencing humanity for the first time, as if they were the strange, other-worldly creature.
It’s a few years later and progress was slow for a while. Faunus went through different incarnations and prototype legs, but is finally piecing together into a full and rounded character.
Let me show you my progress…
This was my first attempt at reverse stilt legs. I could prop myself up into them, but taking a step was impossible. It looked cool, but was a horrible, horrible, horrible design. But it was a start.
At the height I wanted my legs to be, I had to keep lengthening and widening the base until I was a giant, cartoon-hooved monster. It was still a little unstable and I was bound to break something if I ever mis-stepped. …OH, and built out of wood, each leg ended up weighing in at 20 pounds. It was completely un-maintainable. On the upside, this prototype gave me something to begin costuming.
Finally. Good engineering. I’ve invested in Digilegs (http://www.digilegs.com/)
I had to sacrifice the height I so desperately wanted (I wanted to be well above any given crowd), but I knew that I was making too many sacrifices to the design and illusion if I were to insist on that extra foot of height. So, instead of being 7 feet tall, I decided 6′3″ or so would do just fine. With horns, hair and a headdress I’d still be noticeable.
Digilegs are surprisingly easy to adapt to. It’s just a matter of becoming natural at it — rediscovering where your toes end. (PS: I think my fly is open in that last photo. How embarrassing.)
Horns and a headdress.
I made a feather mohawk for my extra height and royal warrior princess persona. Knowing some of my costume would be hooking together in the back, I created extra hair and decoration to mingle in with my own hair and cover most of my back.
I discovered by accident how to made dreadlocks out of fake hair, while I was gathering loose bits to clump up in matted balls and throw in the garbage. Ta da! Dreads. Braided through some brown yarn and matted up some more - it matches my real hair pretty closely.
I created a top out of a second hand leather coat and purses. Purses have the best buckles. I traded a frankentoy to an Etsy craftsman for one of his metal bras and then passed it onto animation co-worker, Jason hall who had begun making me genuine, hand crafted armour…
And right now I’m working on re-costuming the digilegs and building new hooves that can clip back with spring power, when I lift my legs.
So. these are the pieces. Theyr’e slowly coming together, but I haven’t been able to put them all together at once yet. I hope by December I’ll be able to show off and advertise Faunus as a fully developed character and be able to focus on WHO she is. Then look out for a warrior faun at festivals and events near you.
Dear World Wide Web,
It’s been far too long since I’ve paid any attention to my website.
It’s been a long time of settling in to new work, new direction, and a new city. I’m still feeling a bit of a creative lull since all of the upheaval of the last chapter, but I’m counting on it being the creative equivalent of a long, REM nap — the kind you wake up from, feeling like Jello and thinking, “Wow, I must have reeeeally needed that.” (And a creative lull for me means that I’m only working on one project at a time, not 7.)
I’ve rented out my cozy Hamilton home and moved to the capital of this great country, Ottawa Ontario, Canada. For the last six months I’ve been an Animation Supervisor for one of the very best kids’ shows on television today (Sure, I’m a little biased, but ratings don’t lie either!)
Wild Kratts is the animated series by Chris and Martin Kratt -”The Kratt Brothers”- who are more widely known for their success in creating, “Zoboomafoo”, “Kratt’s Creatures” and “Be The Creature”. Their in-house presence in the studio really brings a great life to the work place, along with an amazing and wise-beyond-his-years director, Simon Paquette, and so many other open and caring crew members. It’s a creative environment you don’t often come across in the work place — the the sort of personality that SHOULD be present in every art studio. I’ve always said that the personality of leadership trickles down through any organization, and this place happens to be caring, wise, quick to laugh, and slow to anger. That says a lot to me about the individuals.
On another note, we have studio pets:
Meet two of the three lobby Turtles, Tortuga and Tortilla:
I’m still working on getting together my new street performance project, Faunus, which, while becoming more and more realistic looking and coming together as a character, still has a long way to go in functional reverse-stilt construction. I’ve had to pass that job on to a real stilt-maker. While that gets dreamed up better, a fellow Animation Supervisor in the cubical next to mine, artist, Jason Hall, is working on real Warrior Princess armour for Faunus. She is going to be a strong matriarch of wherever it is she comes from.
On the Franken Toy front, I’ve temporarily pulled the plug on them. I have some serious carpal tunnel syndrom and complex tendinitis (also the reason I’ve switched gears in street performance, from chalk art to Faunus). And although the toys have been my best viral works of art to date, I can’t justify the strain they put on me and on my chances of healing.
I may get back into them when I’m not already doing so much with my arms, but until then they’ll just be a lovely bunch of photographs for people to blog about. And maybe the occasional personal gift.
That said, it is official that the Kratt Brothers love Franken Toys:
So much so that Chris (seen above with a gifted Wild Kratts Franken Creature) bought Robo Reggie for one of his sons.
So… I suppose that’s all I’ve got to post for today. I’ve finally gotten another great job, I’ve managed to keep my house and my two cats, and in one month I’ll be moving into a cute, little apartment right in the heart of down town Ottawa where I look forward to being able to paint again. I`ve still got goals and plans, but I refuse to have expectations. Six months ago I did not see myself here. But being here now - it`s a good thing.
PS: I`ve also started taking roller derby lessons with the Capital City Derby Dolls. So don`t mess with me. I`ll crap you up good!
I haven’t updated my site in ages. There are far too many reasons to explain. One of those reasons (and one of the reasons I don’t care to take the time to explain) is the first of two carpal tunnel surgeries. I shouldn’t really be typing. …Oh, and I’m not. Right, right. I’m pounding my face against the keyboard and it’s just pure Shakespearean-chimps-at-typewriter chance that words and coherent sentences are the result. It’s really creepy.
Anyway, I want to share at least a peak at what’s developing in my world of busking. Pavement art is getting progressively hard on my body… So, I’ve decided to start building an other-worldly walk-about character who will surely help me ruin the remaining parts of my body left undmanged by chalk. So far, I call her “Faunus”.
I’ll let the photos do the typing now, but stay tuned for a finished, full body faun, late in 2011…
Rachel passes through Vancouver and happens to trip over some sort of big event. …I think they call it the “O-Limp-Icks”?? Whatever THAT is.