The Jackrabbits visited the Big Nazo Creature Studio in Providence for a workshop in creativity, imagination, and a bit of the unusual. The Big Nazo team designs unique character forms that are used in movies, theater, and community events around the country.
“We like to work on that edge of reality and absurd, hyper-psuedo, organic fantasy.”
– Minio Pinque, Big Nazo Owner
SCISSORS, STAPLES & SHARPIES
There isn’t any extreme Hollywood makeup or clay casting here–just scissors, staples, and some foam is all you need. We were given these very supplies to create our own over-the-top character. It was also great to see that nothing is thrown out in this workshop, every scrap can be used to make a repair or create a new shape. Talk about recycling!
What Minio teaches in his class at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and in our workshop is to take away the preconceived result of what something is or should be. He explains that when you are learning to use a new material, the goal is to use improvisation. Don’t start with a plan, just begin with the materials. He describes two approaches: one is “zoomed out” with an architectural focus and the other is “zoomed-in” where you get back to a childlike exploration. If you can apply these to creating a story with your creation, many times the result is more real than if you had an end result in mind from the very beginning.
CREATURE CREATION & BRANDING
Effective marketing tells a story where the audience can participate. When the Big Nazo team develops a character story they want the people around to get involved and interact. They allow audiences to eliminate the expected and use their imagination to fill in their own parts of the story. If you tell people every little detail, they can only accept or reject what they hear. However, if you let them make their own interpretations, they connect to the story (ex. brand, product, or service) in a way that resonates with them. Many marketing decisions are made with the intention of delivering something as a definitive thought, but perhaps we need to let go of that safety net and leave the story a little more open-ended.