By Carlos Perez
By Carlos Perez

Many students at SCAD come here with big ideas for the world, while other students develop them while they’re here. This showcase demonstrates the creativity and originality of students, through the characters they have created and the stories these characters are involved in.

This week I had the opportunity to interview Carlos Perez, a sequential arts major here at SCAD working on his MFA. I asked him about his original character Damiana, the prickly pixie.

 

Q: Who is this character and what are they like? Are they a good guy or bad guy? What are their motives?

A: The character’s name is Damiana. She’s a fun loving magical fairy who loves music. She is feisty, passionate and protective. She is good but her naïveté gets her in trouble at times. She can interact and communicate with all plant life.

 

Q: Describe the world that this character comes from.

A: Damiana lived most of her life in a desert cactus patch perched on top of a rock formation. Her home was a giant magical cactus called, “La Gran Cholla” (The Grand Cholla).

La Gran Cholla cactus was butchered and destroyed by man. The wood from the endoskeleton was used to create various instruments, including a guitar that Damiana eventually inhabits. She salvaged some of the wood and wears it as accessories (Her crown, and her anklets). She also kept the last flower from the cactus and is a source of power for her wand.

Damiana’s world is very conservative and in contrast with her free nature. She has grown very skeptical of man after the destruction of her home and only trusts the person who has a good heart and can play her guitar with true love.

 

Q: What is the story that this character is involved in?

A: Damiana has formed a friendship with Santos La Cruz, the latest possessor of Damiana’s guitar/home. They have adventures together.

 

Q: What and or who inspired this character?

A: Damiana’s creation came about from several factors. I wanted to make a strong & powerful female character who also liked to have fun. Damiana has to deal with displacement from the destruction of her home but she is not subservient to anyone or anything.  She has guilt and is mournful of losing her plant community.

Damiana means untamed. My intention was to create a character that was unbridled yet deals with factors that are beyond her control and tries to “box her in.” She is not tied to the guitar she lives in but decides to live and protect it since it is all that remains of her precious home along with the last blossom of the La Gran Cholla.

Damiana’s look was inspired by several plants and plant like characters. I wanted to create a tree spirit fairy unlike any other. I had the idea of creating a “prickly pixie.” Like a rose, she has attractive features juxtaposed with dangerous one as in the flower and its thorns. She has a pretty face  yet has thorny vines wrapping around her legs.

Her hair is a character as well. In most fairies they have human hair. I wanted Damiana to have cactus like dreadlocks.

Her nails and eye lashes grow like branches on trees.

I think those features add to aspect of her being untouchable and thus a free spirit.