words in post.
Reading time: ~ min. or so.
My fascination with the uniform-like cool jackets, the elaborated helmets and the innovative motorcycles must originate from my years-long exposure to Japanese animated series during the ’80s. Futuristic helmets - brightly coloured - concealing the faces of heroes, while their huge and expressive eyes are still visible behind the dark glass!
The Mecha-riding protectors of the Earth in Mazinger Z,
and Grendizer, created by Japanese manga artist Go Nagai.
The space nomads of Robotech with their mecha-fighters, also known as Veritechs.
The protagonists of Saber Rider with futuristic spacesuit designs that combined more traditional themes (Cowboy, F1 Racer and Royal British army) (Image 1).
They all shared a common theme in my eyes: adventurers - in their full cartoon gear - operating cool-looking SCI-FI Mechas.
In Robotech’s intro video, Rick Hunter is raising his gaze from inside the cockpit ready to lunch into space (Robotech Intro) -
while motorcycle riders are parading on the screen (Image 2);
Even further down the title sequence an awesome motorcycle is overshadowing a powerful militaristic mecha (Image 2).
To top it all off, the enigmatic femme fatal Sheila Misty - from Plawres Sanshiro - and her raven-black motorcycle from Image 3.
I devoured each of those visual themes. The combination of man and hi-tech machines left an imprint on my mind.
Years later (~autumn 2017) I was searching for a theme for my Inktober challenge.
I was looking for something meaningful and it didn’t take me long to decide on the theme of motorcycle riders.
To remove myself even further from my comfort zone, I selected new art tools: The Pentel thick calligraphy pens, loaded with Rotring ink on the square Sennelier 250-paged sketchbooks. This resulted in a more bold and disruptive style than my previous work.
Every morning I would sit down and start sketching [badly] riders on their motorcycles. Trying to break free from precise measurements of the machines I was creating at least 7 sketches every 30 minutes. Eventually the results starting to look less rigid and precise and more fluid and expressive. After a while they even started to look “not too bad”. Two and a half months and around 400 sketches later, I started to feel more comfortable with the results. Initially I selected my 30 favorite ones, then the top 12 and added watercolours to them.
See in you in space.