Sunday, 26 October 2014


Geisha is a woman who has been trained very highly within the traditional japanese arts. What they do is to entertain men. They do this by singing and dancing. This is an art to create an relaxing atmosphere. Because of their occupation they are often viewed as being prostitutes ( even though they arent prostitutes). In Japan the Geisha s seen as someone mysterious and unobtainable, A raie sight to see. They are often praised upon instead of being looked down. Girls are even aspiring to become Geisha because of how aesthetically pleasing they come across. After all the Word 'Geisha' means 'person of the arts '

Origins of Japanese beauty started by painting Geisha's faces white because of stories of foreign white beauties told by travelers. white skin is a sign of being rich, Because people with tans has to work in the fields. Plucking eyebrows extremely thinly was very popular too. After being married one would stain their teeth black. 
In the Japanese culture the neck is seen as a very sexy part of the body.So therefore the geisha used to paint a white 'W' on the back of their necks with the white paint outline. an area was left unpainted. This was used as a tease of the skin.
The lips finishes the look up, The lips are made into a more thin morph or somehow made into a smaller version of what they actually are, an optical illusion as such. crystallized sugar was used to give a glisten to the lips.

Women were expected to be made up from as soon as they awake, to late hours when they sleep. making oneself is said to be done alone and not in public.
Black was an image of splender and beauty. after bearing a child one would shave their eyebrows off. colouring the teeth after marriage was a reflection of modesty and a proper attitude. make up was seen as an art rather than just something you put on your face. Floral  eye catching fashion came in with accents of red used upon the face. The red was usually used on the outer eye or the lips. Hairstyles varies from up done buns with pieces of decoration embedded to a more relaxed tied back hair. 


My Idea for character development was originally going to be the Princess and to change the story up a little to make her in a kick-ass character. But I started to think more into the story and a character that I may not have seen yet... the Tinderbox itself. The tinderbox has the power. It can corrupt a persons mind, has the will to summon vicious hounds of hell to murder people. Maybe I can personify the Tinderbox into a real person. In order to do this I needed to look into Japanese culture and the fire elemental to give the object a characteristic.

The Kami 

There is believed to be thousands of gods and goddesses, spirits and ancestors to live in the cosmos, heavens and Earth itself. They are also said to live in anything such as rocks, lakes, rivers etc. As well as japanese deities, these objects can include Buddhist and hindu deities. I feel like this relates so much with The Tinderbox. Its like a fire deity has been trapped in a box, and when its opened the deity offers wishes to the soldier. I feel like this concept of a spirit living within the Tinderbox can back up my point of personifying the box.


Amaterasu is the sun goddess of japans mythology. The eldest daughter of Izanagi and Izanami. When she was born she was really bright and her parents sent her to heaven where she would shine down on the earth . Her conditions made it perfect for people on Earth to grow crops and to live and thrive. She taught people how to live, grow crops, livestock etc. Her brother one day destroyed all the crops so in a result of anger she shut herself away in a cave, plunging the world into a deep darkness. To get her out the cave people / gods shown her a reflection of herself in a mirror to make her believe that she has transformed into a more beautiful goddess. She realised her true beauty. The emergance of the cave became the symbol of the japanese 'Rising Sun ' Flag. The link between Amaterasu and The Tinderbox is the element of Fire. Being the goddess of the sun maybe amaterasu had a child who was too bright and she didnt want them to outshine her so she trapped them in a tinderbox to be buried deep under the earth? or maybe... she sent them away to grow and to be protected.

Japanese Deities

Many of the Japanese deities are linked with weather and the cosmos.
Kagutschi: God of Fire
Inari: God of smiths and craftsmen
Hachiman: God of fertility, turned into the god of war
Tsukiyami: moon god
Wakahirume: Goddess of the Rising Sun
Takami: Messenger of Ameratsu
Shina: Wind Deities

Fire Element (Wiccan)

- The element is seen as Masculine
- The animals that represent this element are.. snake, cricket, lizard, praying mantas. ladybug, bee, scorpian, shark and dragon
- The time of day which is represented by the fire element is Noon
- Weapon that reprsents Fire is the Athame
- Sense of Sight is the sense which represents Fire
- The tarrot cards which represent fire are all apart of the wand suit. They all connect to Passion, Courage, Speed, Victory, Competition, Celebration, Foresight. Future and Inspiration
- Fire represents the following: Sex, Strength, Transformation, Energy, Passion and Will.

From looking into the wiccan elemental of fire. It has given more confidence in giving the tinder box a characteristic. I now see how fire is a strong, sexy, fierce and confident figure. So therefore my character should connect to these as much as possible. Because Fire is Masculine I dont see the need of making the character male, because to me masculinity doesnt mean being male, but more of its a sense.. a feeling of strength. Also Ameratsu is female so it would make sense to make the Tinderbox androgynous or genderless. Because after all... all genders are equally powerful.


I am deeply intrigued in the Edo period. So to give a better idea of what it was like in that time I created a spider diagram. This helps me recognize elements of Edo Japan to help with my character and Environmental work


The Tinderbox is a story about how greed can corrupt a persons mind, and that they would go any length to get what they want. The story follows a soldier of unknown origins or even what their name is. The soldier comes across an old witch. The Witch tells the soldier that if he retrieves the Tinderbox for her he can have all the money which is buried deep with the Tinderbox. He comes across 3 dogs, each to get bigger and heavier the further he goes. He finally gets the box however doesn't give it to the Witch and instead kills her. After spending all of his money he still doesnt know the power of the Tinderbox until one day he strikes the box, to be visited by one the dogs who will bring him anything he wishes for. He asks to see the Princess, whom has been hidden deep within the castle, to never been seen before. This happens again further in, however the princess complains to her mother ( the Queen ) that she has been having weird dreams of riding on a dogs back to be brought to a man. Worried about her daughter, the queen straps a bag of sugar to the princess to give a trail of where she ends up. The King and Queen finds out about the soldier taking away the princess and has him to be sentenced to death. Before the Soldier is hung he is given one last thing to do for his life. He asked to be given his Tinderbox to have a smoke. He demanded the dogs to kill the King and Queen. At the end the soldier was was made King and married the Princess

My view

I see The Tinderbox as a story about greed and malicious acts, with no moral meanings behind it. It seems to be very sexist in my opinion. How the Princess can fall easily for a guy who murdered her parents and goes by the messaged that '' If he wants it , He gets it '' giving the princess an objectifying role.


The soldier gets consumed by greed and is shown to be extremely selfish at the beginning, To the extend to kill others for a possession to call his own. He is viewed as ignorant because of his lavish and mindless spending on unneeded items. Only just to show how wealthy he is. This can also come across that he is really naive. An interesting concept within the story is that he is neither seen as the hero or villain of the story.

The Witch:
In most fairy tales the witch figure is shown to be the villain. In the case of The Tinderbox, The witch is shown to be a Neutral figure (neither good or bad) but just someone looking to have help. The murder of the Witch was really unjustifiable and gets the reader to think if she got murdered because of the soldier's greed or because she is the witch, and  is meant to be seen as the villain.

The Princess:
The Princess is seen to have low moral standards and inst seen as a mentally strong person. She seems to allow for her parents to be killed and after the butchering she freely marries the soldier. She has no personality what so ever and only gets one line where she actually talks ( viewed as an object and not as a person ). She is weak and goes by whatever she is told to do.

The King & Queen:
Despite being the King and Queen they are seen as a 'good' figure in the story. Usually the Royalty is told to be a high class that looks down on the lower classes ( in fairy tales). But in this story they are perceived as the good instead of the typical villain-like role. They dont seem to have a personality as such however I got the impression that they are really protective of their daughter, not even allowing her to go out in public or have her own free will. Despite the Royal role they are not strong at all. In fact they juxtapose the stereotypical image that their status is strong. They are weak and allow to be beaten by a soldier.

Saturday, 25 October 2014


The first brief for university is set to read the story of The Tinderbox, and to develop a character of your choice. At random I was given to work with Edo Japan, by setting the enviroment and characters purely around this era and country.

The Criteria:

- Brief Sypnosis of The Tinderbox 
- Minimum of 50 Silhouettes
- Development of the sihlouettes /Character iterations
- Model and character sheets
- Observational and imaginative enviroment studies 
- Research portfolio 
- Reflective journal /blog
-  Final character piece
- Two Enviromental pieces which are no smaller than 2200*1300 pixels - one must include character

Enviromental work must include:

- 4 thumbnail sketches 500*250 pixles showing only line work
- 4 thumbnail sketches 500*250 pixles showing only tonal values
- 4 thumbnail sketches 500*250 pixles showing only colour / colour relationships

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Elizabeth de Burgh
Clare has deep history with Royalty. The owner of the land was a woman called Elizabeth de Burgh. I took this aspect of reality and turning her into a character for my plot to make my pieces / characters more personal.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


At college I was given a Final Major Project based on a space that I find that is personal to me. I chose a local village of Clare because its a place where I can let my imagination go free. I thought about how Clare would be if it was in different parallel universes and create a character based on these different thoughts.
I thought about how the future of Clare would be like in a different world. maybe the entire earth is one big city and the countryside is just built upon. I created this character to represent this age. Her trousers is the map of Clare to show that even though a place is totally gone, you will always have your roots. Her hands are some sort of light to represent how there is hope in such a dark age.

- Levi