March 27, 2014

Helmutt the Dog redesign


It's been about 6 months in the making for my part, and only about a year for the entire staff incorporating the Higgins Armory collection into the Worcester Art Museum.

Helmutt at the Higgins with a troop in 1952

in the lobby of the Armory 2002


I was very lucky to be brought onto this project by the Audience Engagement Team to develop an illustrated version of the Higgin's beloved Helmutt the Dog statue, a fixture at the Armory since 1942.

Through cartoons, standees, wall vinyls and digital iPad graphics, Helmutt will guide the visitor throughout the exhibition and eventually the museum itself.

I think the main purpose is to make the body of work all the more accessible for the viewer.

It was important to me that a few things happen:
  • The design look like the original dog (which is plaster, not taxidermy)
  • The voice of the character be mature, like an older-sibling (think Wishbone)
  • The character would be approachable for kids and adults alike

Crossing my fingers, this is my first time doing such a large audience engagement project - very exciting!




(ABOVE) early sketches -  somewhat too literal interpretation

(BELOW) later ideas - taking more cartoonified license

Once we decided on the crowd favorite (center), it was adapted into more iterations
We had fun with the idea of Helmutt being a cross-dresser, putting him in the dress of one of the key European portraits in the WAM Spanish collection (bottom left)




putting it into the space (photo credit; MASSLive)

Thank you to the team at WAM for the opportunity & support

 

Please excuse my dumb face and stay tuned to see my incredibly wonderful husband talk about the Keaton Batman suit. (Which he facilitated in bringing here)

6 comments:

  1. Very cool! The design of the dog is very cute--I think a lot of people will like it!

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  2. You both look great!! Love the dog! Wish I could have been at the opening.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! it was pretty packed, if we ran into each other we'd have been hardly be able to even talk

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  3. This is so great! You do a fantastic job.

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