Invisible Cities Online Greenlight Review


  1. OGR 08/10/2015

    Hi Kristina,

    I liked everything about your choice of Armilla.... until you started talking about elves. Now that is an example of 'style creep' - or rather the tendency that students sometimes have of making all project briefs about something they already like or 'prefer'. You are a concept artist commissioned to produce an extraordinary vision of Calvino's city Armilla - not use Calvino's city of tubes into a backdrop to your own interest in fairies etc. This is a mistake, because here, your visual concept is being bolted onto a brief, as opposed to derived from the brief. No elves, no fairies, no nymphs. You need to go back to your source material Kristina - go back to Calvino and pull your art direction from his vision - that's the brief. I must say that I've been loving your latest thumbnails - Zirma especially - so this isn't a critique of your abilities at all - but this is a classic example of a student 'doing what they want' as opposed to 'meeting the brief' and I'm glad we caught it in time. One of the things missing from your OGR is the collection I asked for of all the descriptive passages from the city's description - that would have been useful here, because my point about the complete absence of 'fairies' in Calvino's writing would have been obvious.

    Now - all of that said - the idea that this unfinished city of tubes has become home to nature (not fairies!) is a nice idea; I can easily see how nature might be reclaiming this structure, so that we have contrast between man-made and natural forms; I can imagine birds nesting in the old porcelain sinks and toilets; maybe lily-pads and frogs in the old bathtubs...


    Armilla is a challenge, because it's unbuilt, but in order to ensure interest and variety, you still need to think about the types of buildings that were going to be built - and weren't. In a way you have to imagine the city as if it had been completed, and then strip all its surfaces away to reveal only its veins and its arteries and its major organs: for example, imagine that at the centre of Armilla there was an extraordinary tower, hundreds of feet high; imagine all the pipes and all sinks, baths and toilets and taps reaching up into the sky, but, because of the weight of water collecting in all those bathtubs and toilets, all the pipes are leaning over, like flowers in a vase!


    In this way, your city of pipes could get more 'organic' and sculptural:


    So, in summary - natural world meets Calvino's city of tubes = yes! Elves = no!

    1. Ohhh let me re-phrase : "My idea is based on creating a world where elves and nymphs could live" If that makes more sense. I don't mean to draw detailed characters in this place, just to imply of what sort of place I'm looking for. I'm sorry for that, will be looked at and thanks for the examples! If I'm allowed to have destroyed walls then it will be more interesting. Really brings ideas. But since the descriptions says "the fact remains that it has no walls, no ceilings, no floors" I completely excluded them. Thanks for that comment!

  2. I think you can probably have a few other kinds of structural elements to help you in terms of composition - just no elves! ;)