#1 1/9/2013 3:10:42 AM
#6 1/10/2013 3:10:42 AMSo as not to type out what I've thrown down before I shall henceforth magically recreate some previous sentiments from another thread! =D
So, as you may or may not know, the first champion I worked on when I came to Riot was Leona. I'll at some point in the near future be putting up on my blog some of her original concept art. What you'll see isn't exactly going to strike you as "based" on someone due to how the concept was executed. Also, Leona looks a fair amount different than where she ended up. You'll see when it gets posted.
When designing things, artists usually use what's in their visual vocabulary to create a character. So, the first character I was tasked to design, happened to be a strong female. Naturally, I am attracted to strong females, as well as other particular features that said strong females might have.
Slight tangent: Back in high school and college, I drew this particular character I created over and over in my sketchbooks. She was sorta sci-fi, Aeon Flux type of character.. but not so grossly weird in proportions. Basically, tall, strong looking, brunette chick. These were the default characteristics of beauty for me, so naturally they came out in my female characters.
After years of doing this, I just happened to meet a tall, strong brunette. Weirdly enough, she looked a LOT like the girl in my sketchbooks. My wife often jokes that I somehow conjured her into my life by drawing her repeatedly =)
Back to the point: So, the characteristics of beauty that I find attractive are existant in my drawings of women, and my wife to boot. This translated into my development of Leona. There isn't exactly a 1:1 comparison, in that my wife isn't dressed head to toe in golden armor. However, when I was working on Leona's face in the concept, she very much resembles my wife. She also has a similar build, except that in the particular concept, the camera angle is distorting some of the proportions, making the build look a little different.
Oddly enough, when I saw the splash for Leona, I noticed that the splash artist (who noted to me that she had used Natalie Portman as reference) also managed to make Leona a woman who looks a lot like my wife. My wife also looks like a very tall Natalie Portman. (Cioncidentally, another odd detail, is that my wife went to high school with Natalie Portman.)
SO! In a number of ways, the characteristics of what I find beautiful in women; strength, height, build, etc, made their way into Leona. Those characteristics are also represented in my wife. A whole lot of my wife into Leona as a consequence.
My wife is a big inspiration to me, and she's an amazing woman. I was thinking of her the entire time that I was working on Leona, and putting whatever characteristics of her that I could into the character where appropriate.
I sort of consider Leona as a tribute to my wife in many ways. But at her core, she's a tribute to all women of strength, conviction and willingness to defy convention. =)
#13 1/10/2013 12:23:32 AM
#25 1/10/2013 1:37:42 AM
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#40 1/10/2013 2:36:49 AM
#56 1/11/2013 2:10:27 AM
#57 1/11/2013 2:10:27 AMQuote:is your wife aware that she's a theme of discussion on the forums??
She's flattered and giddy in relation to it all really. She has a bit of a cult following herself. People at the office refer to her as Leona when they see her (She's really tall), and a couple of people at the finals referred to her as Mrs. IronStylus.
She thinks its all quite a blast.