VCD – Character Design & Illustration
Alex McMillan is a Canadian, Calgary-based character designer. Fascination with complex theory and audience interactivity has led to the somewhat tragic practice of being a 'conceptual perfectionist.' Motivated by humour, activism, history, ecology, and aesthetic theory to engage with the viewer in smart and provocative ways. Aspiring towards work in the games industry as the ultimate narrative device.
The current body of work explores the nature of narrative through genre, archetypes, and the hero’s journey. Using these elements to communicate environmentalism, mental health, and freedom. Creating multimedia digital illustrations with vibrant colours and a painterly style. The biggest hope from all the current and future work is to connect with someone and make them feel understood.
Brookfield Residential Murals
Selected work for Brookfield Residential's new community, Seton.
Seton's' identity is diversity, and so the tryptic is based off of the ecology of the area. Calgary is an intersection of many environments, being at the foothills of the Rockies, the prairies, bow river and a rich urban center. Using photography to give context of space and familiar animals found in the area, but with a unique and vibrant colour treatment. This makes the typical feel new and yet to be decided by the people living in the community. This also relates to the archetypal depictions of the animals, something nearly universal but endlessly diverse in narrative depictions.
Asia Hyde, Designer, Alaska White Photographer, Alex McMillan Digital Painter/Photo Editor.
Faceless, Faces of the Wastes
Faces of the Wastes is a game concept based in a post-apocalyptic garbage wasteland. The story follows a boy labeled a 'Faceless,' by the masked denizens.
Faces of the Wastes Beetle Guide
The mechanical purpose of this character is to serve as a tutorial for both the game mechanics and the internal culture of the game setting. Living in the outskirts of the Plastic Sands, along the coast as a scavenger whom is quite lonesome. To be a tutorial character, he must be the type of person who couldn’t help but exposition dump onto the latest friendly face around. His silhouette is based off of rhinoceros stag beetles, an insect that emphasizes strength by having an absurdly large head attached to its forehead. This strength is cosmetic for the purpose of mating; so the utility of an oversized horn is called into question when other factors of survival are considered.
Polygonal Visual Development
Visual Development for a graphic novel project. The starting point for the development of this narrative was a hero’s journey, about every day living. How the inner journey that takes place is recursive on a grander scale when looking for fulfillment. Recent indie games and animation has been using low poly models and use the basic polygon as a symbolic building block throughout the narrative. This inspired the abstract visual language of the ‘darts’ as a protagonist and other fundamental characters and concepts. Using a highly abstracted protagonist achieves twofold, a relatable proxy for the viewer, and an expressive communication of an inner state of mind.
The Works of Jean Paul Sartre
Book Cover design for a series of plays by Jean Paul Sartre. Each has a modular design with unique characters and colour palette that communicates the themes of individual freedom and the act of good faith. The modernized design brings the Existentialist ideas into the present day.