This blog documents my work with the incongruous notion of flamingo-ballerinas that began in September 2020. Initially, these flamingo dancers were created for a birthday card of an old friend who dances ballet, then then the flamingoes got invited to join a 2021 journal for the Komubara Dance School in Jakarta, and most recently more were requested by my Dad for his birthday. It seems that these flamingoes have legs and keep on dancing and moving into new incarnations. It is interesting that ideas sometimes just keep on going…(and I already have an idea for a future strip on incongruous flamingoes).
In September 2020, I created a birthday card for my old friend Genevieve who loves to dance ballet, so I began with the notion of cartooning around the theme of ballet. Then I ‘noodle-doodled’ ideas based around the incongruous fusion of flamingo-ballet dancers and drew up 10 mini-panels. These mini-panels explored the flamingoes practising various French ballet positions both real (such as ‘L’arabesque’) and the imaginary (such as ‘The Pretzel’). When I spread these panels on the floor, I realised that they had inadvertently became almost a comic strip and so turned these into a concertina card of 12 panels in total to send to my friend. These are replicated below:
Many of these original cartoons were used in the journal version for the Indonesian ballet school and juxtaposed with photographs of the ballet students endeavouring to replicate the ballet positions. Sometimes this was possible and sometimes impossible. I particularly like this attempt to replicate ‘The Pretzel,’
In the last week, I reworked some of these originals for my Father’s birthday. Dad had actually requested copies of the original cartoons, but it was more interesting for me to reinvent some of the images with the birthday theme. Here are the reinvented versions below:
It is great to rework ideas, because this builds a familiarity with the characters and the line work – and this fosters a more relaxed confidence. I hope to build characters that I can draw with fluidity from all kinds of angles with a confidence to get them moving, expressing, and really living within the comics medium.