Character Painter, Visual Development Artist
Coming into this mentorship I had a brief idea of what we’d be covering, but ended up getting so much more out of it than I initially thought. The depth in which costume design is explored is so comprehensive and forces a lot of unexpected ideas to come bubbling to the surface. When you’re given other avenues to incorporate into your work, you wind up with more freedom to play and experiment with designs instead of being bound to your first ideas.
And as someone who enjoys research, Jessie really taught me the value of being intentional and specific with it to help bring a bigger picture together. I can take what I’ve learned and not only use it for costume design but also for characters or environments or props, and from that can feel like I’m creating a world grounded in something solid.
I really appreciated the time and care Jessie took with each of our projects, making sure we all had time to work out problems we were coming across. It felt like you were part of a class, but also having that one-on-one time to workshop ideas and get your questions answered. I’d highly recommend this class to anyone looking to improve not just their costume design skills, but also to hone their research and development beyond what people might see in “Art Of” books.
Thanks so much for all the great advice, and all the hard work you’ve put into this mentorship, Jessie!
Design, Art, Creative direction
Besides giving us an incredibly rare content with academic quality, Jessie’s mentorship took me on a personal and creative journey beyond my every expectations. As intended from the beginning, I ended these 12 weeks with a well developed original story and costume concepts for my portfolio, but we did so much more than that! I also learned many creative strategies for brainstorming, exploring ideas, and a hardly ever present self-compassionate approach during the creative process.
Costume is often not treated with the complexity and potential for connection with the story as many other areas of animation, but in this mentorship, it’s approached with respect in a very pragmatic and technical way but also full of passion.
I loved our meetings every week, learning about time periods and how to research them, the importance of thumbnailing and how to not edit your ideas too soon in the process, getting extremely constructive feedback that respected my process of developing my own story.
I’m sad this class is over, but I can’t wait to make this process my own and apply to my future works, it definitely has been life changing. Thank you so much Jessie!
Character Design and Visual Development
I took today as a long, introspective day to mull over this course and what I loved and gained from it. As I was doing my (very... much needed) deep-cleaning of my room, I thought about how much this mentorship really aided me in not only improving in speed and technique, but mentality--I now understand a lot more about where I can improve and how to go about it. I've learned what research really means and how to make it efficient and nuanced--something that I usually think comes only at the end of a piece or a concept. Narrowing and nuancing research makes your life THAT much easier in the long run, and I've never actually had a class that guided me through the very beginning of stumbling upon and developing an idea to the ending portions where things become more and more refined, and it's more about just adding the little finishing touches. To me, that has been so, so, SO very valuable and cherished, and it's showed me not only how to actually conceptualize costume, but environments, characters, painting methods, color, and so much more. I went in expecting a costume design mentorship and left with an entirely new and fresh way to analyze and articulate my artwork.
I've been thinking of ways to add more to the class, and the one thing I really could think of was perhaps to add more in-class practices or rundowns. I felt like those were such a pivotal point for all of us because it really limited our time requirements in a way that really made our brains execute the skills we've been covering in ways that are different than going at a more leisurely, break-involved pace. Doing 8 thumbs in 10 minutes, or limiting a turnaround concept to 10 minutes really shows progress and what is understood vs. what still may need some time.
I also really enjoyed when we did the astronaut character in-class development session because it allowed all of us to combine our ideas and better understand the psychologies! I know that I, at least, had some trouble fully understanding the different enneagrams in the beginning, but after working through them for weeks and then applying them on the spot to a character and giving the reasons as to why and how it'd fit into their bare-bone story really gave an extra level of understanding in, again, a much more time-crunched kind of in-class practice session. (:
Thank you so much Jessie Kate for these past 12 weeks, I had so much fun and learned so much information in what felt like such a short time! The course really flew by! I'm super interested in taking further mentorships with you... both the character lineup and relationship between costume and environment course ideas sound like an immense amount of fun and amazing workshopping and learning opportunities!
Costume Design and Fabrication
I signed up for this mentorship because I felt stuck in a theatre loop, which is to say less creativity in design and more finding 26 pairs of suspenders for under $50. I wanted to explore mediums and find out how other disciplines create and costume their characters. Jessie Kate helped me find tools to explore animation, vis dev, and character design, while also providing excellent guidance and insight into effective story telling through characters’ motivations and psychology. I left feeling inspired to create my own characters, closely analyze stories (and real people), and explore places to expand my technical skills.
I appreciate Jessie Kate’s flexibility and willingness to change her course to accommodate where we were in the process. She genuinely wanted us to succeed and was always ready to answer questions and help when we got stuck on an assignment. I especially liked the in-class exercises, the analysis into our own wardrobe and the freedom to experiment with weird costume ideas without worrying about the final product.