I started yet another project, oh yes I did! This time a teeming picture book/wimmelbook for children ages 3 -6 years.
The theme is the dwellings/lives of norwegian forest animals. I kind of draw on the fairy tale genre as well as using actual facts about the animals in my presentation of them. I’ve picked out 10 animals, that I’ll present within four pages for each animal.
During the two weeks I’ve developed the concept and made some rough sketches. I was thinking maybe I could do both the hare-family and the common chaffinch, but things tend to take time, so I just got to do the hares.
I had two weeks at school where I could define a project I wanted to work on. I decided to continue on a comic-concept (Musmo) I’ve started earlier. What I wanted to do, was rethink how to solve the storytelling and the visual style.
I did a lot of research and writing. Some character and environment sketches. I also made a hypothetical panel from the introduction story where I tested digital colouring versus watercolour. The digital is not finished, but still I feel the watercolour is the one I want to go for. There still are a couple of things I want to test further, like linework, but at least I’m a step further.
This rethinking also means that the first drawn pages I’ve made earlier, will not be used. I won’t start drawing before I feel the essential ground work is finished. Also the project has become more manageable, because I decided to split the story up into smaller parts.
1. Analyzing a chosen animation/comic/game etc with character design in mind, and making a character that fits into that world/concept. I used Krtek (Mole) by Zdenek Miler, which I loved watching when I was little, and made a Cricket. The task was more difficult than I would have thought, and it could have turned out better, but it was a good way to get into thinking character design.
3. I found a fantasy-story generator on net to have starting point for designing two characters. The text went like this: The story is about an arrogant wizard who must find a magic mirror, break a curse, and slay a monster to attend a dance. Complications arise when it’s discovered that the hero and villain are related.
I decided to put the story into a victorian/steampunk setting. Aaaand….I’m not going to say much more about that. I thinked I’ve learned something from the feedback.
I have been planning on making a series of drawings of girls on different kinds of adventures (mostly the dangerous kind). I’ve had some sketches and ideas waiting for me for some time. These are the beginning of one. I think I’m finished drawing the girl, but I’ve not made up her story yet, so the surroundings will come later.
“Homemade” watercolour texture for background…the rest is digital drawing with Intous4 in Photoshop.
The result of my first real (paid) illustration job, made for the Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land. It was published on August 23rd in the papers supplement about meaningful jobs. And no doubt, it was a meaningful job for me, so maybe I should have put myself in among the crowd….why didn’t I think of that before…damn
Anyways, the most meaningful part of the job for me was getting the experience. The employers had a lot of ideas about what they wanted, so I couldn’t do whatever I felt like. Since it was a job I got paid to do, and the illustration was going to be printed in quite a big paper, it was important to me that they were happy with the result (and of course that I felt ok about it going out there too). There was a lot of communication back and forth, fixing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And no one got angry or insulted…fantastic!
Still, it’s a pretty straight forward illustration, and I don’t feel it’s my greatest accomplishment, but I do feel lucky for the opportunity. Hopefully it will open some new doors in the future