Time for you all to learn how messy my illustrations start!
First up, some emotional roughs. The news that the AFL might, next year, decide to hold a six round women’s competition despite having ten teams(!) gave me some fresh and handy emotions to play with. I really enjoyed this activity. Ignoring the purpose and audience of the pictures let me feel free to play around in a way that I feel maybe I haven’t for a while.
This is something I’m going to want to do more often. And hopefully it can help me out with the next activity. Because while the emotional roughs were fun, the story expansions were thoroughly exhausting and frustrating. I like to keep a fair amount of ambiguity in my stories and creating more images for the same story just felt like I had to invent way too much plot.
The Traveller was the easiest one because I actually already had a long abandoned picture in my drafts, and the old lady is from another picture I never really started and can now no longer remember. Themes: community, new traditions, social upheaval.
I did enjoy the process of sitting down and thinking about which picture elements might be important to the story. In my mind the sunny courtyard is one of those books about people who quit their city jobs and go learn how to run a farm in some beautiful place. The important points are going to be the environment, the food, and the local people. So this would probably be a story for more evocative pictures, rather than plot-based ones.
For this one I tried to think of different ways of showing the same scene, trying to evoke different emotions. In the top row they’re exploring the big city for the first time, and seeing cool tech that other people have made. One illustration is focussing on the trip as a whole, the other a particularly important moment. In the bottom row it’s a fight/escape scene through some underground tunnels, varying the levels of drama. Context: middle grade adventure book. Themes: invention, technology, and the social implications thereof.
These pictures are all, as with all roughs, fairly simple. If I were to take any to finish I’d add and change things. I’m already looking at the zoomed-out fight scene and thinking that I’d add some cool tangly robot arms attacking them, to give more movement to the scene.
In any case, I think both these activities led to more interesting and varied roughs than I would have got to if I was just starting from scratch, and attempting to show off my technical skills. So… I should probably do some more of this.