Morgan O'Connor

elan vital (26 November 2017)

elan vital: the creative force within an organism that is responsible for growth, change, and necessary or desirable adaptations.

Currently I am working on a physical tool that can be used by creatives to bring to light unimagined beasts. In the creative world we're seeing a lot of recycled ideas, but I'm hoping that this tool can bring about animals, aliens, etc. that the user would not have imagined, but it fully satisfied with. This could be used as a supplement to illustrations, comics, creative writing, or even rpg gaming (Dungeons and Dragon, Pathfinder, etc.) to come up with something new and exciting.

The format is a wheel, beginning in the center with the base elements and branching out further into specifics. The point of the wheel is to give let the user see every option at once so their possibilities are no inhibited. The goal is not to go as far to the edge as you can, but rather to highlight points on the wheel that you would like to use. Maybe staying vague will allow the user to put their own spin on an idea, or maybe they would rather get right to specifics and chase a line down to the very edge so they know exactly what they want.

The goal of this tool is to allow for practically infinite possibilities.

Creature Factory (September 2017)

I will be creating a tool to allow others to create beasts with any features, outward or in, of the user's choice. The format of this concept has yet to be determined...
but right now I am looking at other creature creators such as Spore (a video game) and physical objects like books. I am considering printing features on acetate, a clear and printable paper, so that I could layer them over each other without losing any quality of the prints beneath.

The Bestiary
15 May 2017

For the research portion of Design Seminar I will be studying the creation and history of bestiaries. A bestiary is a descriptive log of the nature and habitat of creatures real or fictional which was something often used in medieval times to catalog their moralizing mythical beasts. This would involve studies in zoology, anatomy, and animal behavior on the content half of the research. The other half would be studying the origin of bestiaries, when or why it was used in history, and how other creative writers, such as J.R.R. Tolkien, have used them for their own fantasy worlds.

As a Graphic Design concentrator and Creative Writing minor, I wanted to combine my two passions (with the addition of illustration) for my senior thesis project. I am currently building a world that will become the basis for my first long-term writing project and I wish to expand on it further. This world includes a variety of fictional creatures that are still in the works, but with the research that I will be doing in the coming semester they will become properly fleshed out. I will be able to use the array of writing and illustrative content from my research to lay out my own bestiary and/or another graphic series whether it be posters, info cards, etc.

I will have two main research methods: the internet, which is where I will be getting most of my history; and bestiary books, which I will be using for reference. The goal is to translate my world building into graphic content that can be shared.

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