My 2 main potential characters for an animation about a day in the life of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.
The consensus from feedback is overwhelmingly in favour of The Boy (yet to be named) as a more suitable character for what I had in mind. The biggest problem I had of lack of colour in him was solved with a raincoat, as I still feel that the Boy himself has to be white, making him a true innocent and blank slate.
These proposals will also be sent to Dr Neil Black, an Endocrinology & Diabetes Physician for his opinion on how the characters represent Diabetes, and how children might react to them.
During my presentation of my characters I received some helpful feedback to take on board;
- As well as growing limp or falling out for Hypo, the feather could grow large and inconvenient for Hyper. Previously I had considered the character showing large amount of energy for hyper, but this can be misleading. In reality Hyperglycemia shows as more of a sickness than an excess of energy.
- During a talk form a Diabetes physician one of the major problems she highlighted was people getting tired of the responsibility of keeping Type 1 diabetes in check and the dangers of becoming slack with checking of blood-glucose. My character could feel the same, letting his feather become dirty and bedraggled at a point.
- Other children with hidden feathers could be present in the world – perhaps even as someone the main character knows. He would show that it is better to be proud than to be ashamed of who you are.
- To further represent this acceptance of responsibility and growing maturity, the character could grow physically during the course of the day. This could be shown with his raincoat, perhaps slightly large at the beginning and better fitting at the end
- My characters representing ‘The 4 Ts’ could be present, as background decoration or toys in the animation. They could also be the subjects of other promotional material.
- The feather could become a symbol of Type 1 Diabetes in the same way that the pink ribbon is synonymous with Breast Cancer Awareness, perhaps as a gold pin to be worn on a hat rather than the chest.