Thursday, 7 February 2013

Litspiration Challenge #2: Stargirl Character Sketch

Stargirl Litspiration Challenge: Character Sketch

The reason why I chose to draw Stargirl as my litspiration challenge was because I felt that she had a very important and crucial role in the the novel, Stargirl. Although my litspiration challenge does not seem like a "challenge", I personally thought that it was quite difficult because of the symbols and thought that I put in to it. I also had difficulties with drawing Stargirl and I wanted her to look as realistic as possible. Overall I am very proud of my work because I think the final product ended up quite well and my symbols have deep meaning towards it. (This is something I will explain in more detail).

Background Information:
This character sketch is based off of the character, Stargirl in Jerry Spinelli's novel Stargirl. Stargirl revolves around the challenges within a society and the need to be "normal". Although Stargirl was not the protagonist in the book, she played a crucial role in changing the thoughts of the people surrounding her and was able to influence and inspire people from inside the book and out. Stargirl is different. She plays a very unique character throughout the story and her main role was influencing and changing the society around her. In my character sketch her outward appearance has been based off on my own opinions, events in the novel, and Spinelli's own descriptions. 

Things I Considered Before:

1.) The Background Colour:
The background colour is coming out from Stargirl's body and is first a creamy, luminescent white that then ranges in to a yellow and blue. My main intention in doing so, was to show the moods and personalities of the society. The white that is illuminating from Stargirl's figure is to show that she shines like a "star" and frequently brightens the lives of others. The yellow is to represent her bubbly and carefree personality. Whenever we read about Stargirl, we could see that the actions and the things that she said were all to benefit and help another character in the book. No matter what the situation, she plastered a smile on to her face and tried to do something beneficial to her classmates. There was even a quote that depicted her actions. This is the quote, "When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light." This quote is essentially showing us that even when she was upset her actions were never for herself, instead they were for another. Lastly the blue in the background is to represent everyone else in the society (Not including Stargirl). The blue shows us the mood of everyone else and how they are so similar to one another, but by being similar it was equivalent to being sad. There was no excitement, no originality, and certainly no fun. But as we get closer to Stargirl we can see that the bright yellow is illuminating on to the blue and is certainly affecting it and them. As one person gets closer to Stargirl, they become happy and joyous, just like Dori Dilson and Leo Barlock.

2.) "Smiles all around!":
The smiles in the background are meant to show the mood and the affect that Stargirl is having on Mica High. When I drew the smiles, I thought about Stargirl's actions towards her school mates and how she improved the mood and spirit of the school. The smiles are first starting small, but as they head outwards towards the edges of the blue they start enlarging. As Stargirl spends more time with her school mates, they start absorbing her happiness and spirit. Eventually the whole school is swept in to her hurricane of joyful ways.

3.) Coins: 
The path of coins that are leading towards Stargirl, are meant to represent the quarters and change that she gave away and dropped along the streets. Her reasoning to this action was, "Have you ever seen a kid's face when they found a penny?" -Stargirl. Even in this very statement we can see that her main action was for another individual in the book. Her actions weren't just for her school mates and the main characters, they were for strangers as well. 

4.) Pom Pom
The pom pom in her right hand is a way to show that Stargirl was an Electrons cheerleader. Although Stargirl was officially part of a group, she followed her own rules and her own ways of cheering. During one of the basketball games the star of the opposing team, Ron Kovac, is injured and Stargirl flies by his side. Although she is comforting the star player of the opposing team, Stargirl is recognized as a traitor against her own school and school mates. The tables have now turned and their original thoughts on Stargirl have done a 180ยบ degrees.

I personally drew the pom pom because it represented the good and bad times in the novel. At first, Stargirl is a great addition to their cheerleading team and helps increase the chances of the team's victory but as time passes Stargirl is recognized as a treason and a traitor. Eventually her goodness turns in to treason and the entire school is against her.

5.) Ukelele and Music Notes:
The ukelele in Stargirl's hand was one of the main things that made Stargirl different and unique. One of the ways that Stargirl improved the moods of her classmates was by singing them songs and Happy Birthday. In fact, on the very first day that Stargirl arrived she sang a song in the middle of the lunch room and amazed everyone. Even in the things that she said and her overall thoughts, her entire philosophy ranged and expanded a lot farther than her classmates. Stargirl was truly a heart warming character and an inspirational one as well.

6.) Presents and Card:
The presents and cards beside her foot is meant to represent her "business"; Stargirl frequently sent anonymous gifts and presents to her neighbours, classmates, and even strangers. She wanted to lift the mood of anyone that was unhappy and she even attended events such as funerals and birthdays. I drew these things because I think that it really showed her identity and her beliefs as an individual.

7.) Camera:
The camera in my character sketch is meant to represent a minor event that occurred in the novel. Towards the end of the story we were introduced to a very minor character named, Peter Sinkowitz. Peter is a little boy in the community and Stargirl was doing another good deed; she was creating a biographical scrapbook full of memories. Stargirl's logic to this was, "Don't you wish somebody came up to you today and gave you a scrapbook called, "The Life of Leo Borlock'? And it's a record, of what you did on such-and-such date when you were little. From the days you can't remember anymore. And there's pictures, and even stuff that you dropped or threw away, like a candy wrapper. And it was all done by some neighbour across the street, and you didn't even know she was doing it. Don't you think when you are fifty of sixty you'd give a fortune to such a thing?'. <-- Another example of her goodness.

8.) Rat - Cinnamon:
Cinnamon is Stargirl's pet rat. His fur is an orange-brown and he rides on Stargirl's shoulder. Cinnamon was one of the main things that separated Stargirl away from the others. Some information about Cinnamon is that he loves poking around human's ears and he lives in Stargirl's handbag and shoulder.                                                                     I drew Cinnamon in my character sketch because he was a major part of Stargirl's identity.

9.) Facial Expression:
Stargirl's facial expression is filled with joy and happiness. The reason why I gave her big eyes was because Leo often got lost into them and I thought that it was one of her characteristics that really defined her. It also added more romance in the novel, another thing that I added into her facial expression was a huge smile. Stargirl's personality was always happy and I wanted to show that through her smile. I think that Stargirl was a very inspirational character and Spinelli put a lot of thought and effort into her personality and actions.


  1. Not only is this an awesome drawing, but you have included so much detail from the novel to explain your "litspiration!" Awesome!

  2. I love your drawing and all the thought and elements you put into it. However you used blue as a background colour to represent the boringness of everyone else and I disagree with this as I find blue to be an intriguing and deep colour, personally I would have chose grey. I would love to hear more reasoning as to why blue fit in your mind. :)

    1. Hey Kirsten! The reason why I chose blue is because whenever I think of sad faces compared to happy ones, I think of blue. I guess another reason why is because tears are kind of a bluish colour and it really reminded me of sadness. I can definitely see how the grey would work in this scenario and I never really considered it. I can see you reasoning to the colour, as it is dull, boring, and mellow. Thank- you for the comment!