“I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO MAKE ONE THAT LOOKS BLACK!”

Béla was not feeling up to even non-academic work and basically had a sick day today, sleeping until two. Claudia was gunning hard to work more on her marionette head. Specifically, she wanted to get those eyes in.

What happened over the next two hours, I could have sat in a soundproof room and written the script for thirty seconds before it was happening. Claudia watched the video of how to make facial features, showing a number of very European-looking sprightly faces, and then bellowed, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO MAKE ONE THAT LOOKS BLACK!!”

While none of the examples thus far had been brown skinned or had African features, by later videos, they did — that’s important to say. It’s also important to mention that, while we had hoped it would arrive in time for Christmas, as I had backed the Kickstarter ages ago, How To Draw Black People by Malik Shabazz had not yet come into our possession.

Claudia took a general approach, a very broad approach, to making her puppet’s features “more black”, and possibly succeeded, but did nothing for what she was going for characterwise.

“Now it’s an old man,” she wailed.

She was unfortunately correct. It needed work. When I suggested that she was carrying a handy portable African-American face to work from, I had to of course be wrong, and she went and got her phone. To look at Lizzo? Herself? Friends? I don’t get too involved unless asked.

And then I got asked. She came over tearfully and we talked about her adorable nose and what could be done to make this one more like it. Then we talked about the lips and how to make them less scowly.

Then she was done with me, and came back with this:

I don’t want to see this rushed at all but I cannot wait to see what happens next. We watched the videos for sculpting limbs and they were fantastic. It all gave Tuck and I some ideas of our own — we may need to take this course as well. I know Béla wants to make a Korean punk rocker and I’m looking forward to that.

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