Originally Posted by Practically
I know that you were a little bit inspired by Lady Gaga with the artwork on Diana - I was wondering specifically what you meant by it though.
I asked you this on Twitter, but I have a feeling it's in the face: her cheekbones, and her eyes sort of speak Lady Gaga-ish to me.
Anyway, here's hoping for an answer!
P.S. Excellent work dude. She looks badass.
Funny thing. I wasn't immediately inspired by Lady Gaga, but after I did a lot of concepting I was groping for a unique visual hook. I watched Claymore which was a big turning point for me. The extremely detached and emotionally void demeanor of the characters was something I wanted to incorporate into Diana. It was difficult though, how do you sell emotionless without being boring?
Regardless, I liked those tropes. Something hit me when I was working on various designs about how I could bring Diana a bit more over the top. She couldn't just be a chick in armor. She needed a personality, and it was apparent that she needed a flair or some sort. Lady Gaga came to mind then. Her costuming is over the top and a little avant garde. She sells a very different emotional attitude in her work and performance, especially her videos. I've watched the Alejandro video a thousand times for its fashion, it's graphic design, its attitude and its themes. The pale white face with pale blond hair was something that needed to happen with Diana. It could work with her being emotionally detached because that was executed in Lady Gaga's video material.
I know that some don't find Lady Gaga's work appealing, and some even mock it. I however, and this is just my taste, find it fascinating because I enjoy that sort of abstract performance art. Confession: I was a Marilyn Manson fan. Diana needed to in some sense be a fashionable piece of walking performance art, standing in contrast to her emotional detachment. We couldn't just make her drab black, that would be a terrible read. But bringing in white, moon white, and stylizing whatever we could was a way to communicate a sort of "death knight" feel without being grotesque. Instead we wanted to make her haunting and beautiful.
Diana's concept ended up being an odd kit bash of inspirations. As some have noted, it even has a bit of a sci-fi bend to it. That's intentional. However, my challenge was to make it not sci-fi in treatment, even if it was sci-fi shapes. Lady Gaga has some of that other-wordly themes in her visual work. Stark white, clinical feel of surroundings, over the top clothing and accouterments, but over-all sleek.
Facially, yes. If you take a look at the Alejandro video you can pretty much isolate where I drew inspiration from. The paleness and pristine nature is there and it's juxtaposed with the surrounding darkness.
Contextually, you can't deny that there are some.. controversial things.. that Lady Gaga showcases in her work. I am attracted to that too. I'm in agreement with many of her social policy opinions. Her work speaks to unconventional thought, and unconventional attitudes. Rebellion against ideology, bending of convention, the attraction to what is different, role reversal, questioning of authority and challenging established tradition. These are all heavy themes in Diana.
Lady Gaga is of course not the only inspiration, but she was certainly someone I kept in mind. Artists find inspiration in other artists, and we very much are attracted to conceptual tropes. Lady Gaga is an unconventional trope, and an amalgamated trope, but a trope nonetheless. She represents a very interesting composition of the classical blended with the new. Components of musical and conceptual classicism clashing with the modern and abstract, an open schism to reveal a fair amount of conflict and intensity.
Keep this in mind, I'm not a fanboy. I just very much enjoy art. I enjoy it when people commit to art and refine such art to high-concept communication. I try to do that with my own work, I think she does it with her work. She's abstract. I very much love the abstract.