Calissa Tanner

Don’t be Scared 

For my work, Don’t be Scared, I have investigated clowns and why people are afraid of them. Why do we view them in a scary way instead of the fun, playful way intended? Why do horror films include scary clowns? These are the questions I asked to gather inspiration for my final piece. The photographs have been created to showcase the entertainment and fun aspect of the clown using a model and make-up. 

I have been inspired by the series American Horror Story (2011-present) and the horror film Clown (2014) in the creation of my character. I have aimed to use these inspirations combining typically scary aspects from a variety of sources to create a unique final creature. 

My sculpture was made using soft sculpting clay on an armature using tinfoil and wire. My clown character includes scars, a red nose, a costume, and a sinister grin with sharp teeth. I have completed a mood board using NSP clay, adding texture with a spatula. I designed an ear on my board purely for practice before creating the ears on my final sculpture.  

I have also explored the work of photographer Cindy Sherman. Her use of the clown and depersonalising an individual linked well with my project. The images displayed show my model, who I decorated using a mixture of face paints and traditional make up items in front of a brightly coloured yellow background. The model’s hair is standing up which aims to add the illusion of movement. The model also aimed to show the alternative side of a clown using her hand as a threat and playfully sticking her tongue out. The final photographs are edited in Photoshop to enhance the makeup and ensure the background really stands out. I also smoothed out the skin and removed any unwanted texture on the skin using the spot healing tool.  


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