Week three of Lilla's Class was all about the children's book market. I was an artsy kid and a huge reader growing up. (Quentin Blake, who illustrated many of Roald Dahl's books was one of my favorite illustrators and Roald Dahl is still probably one of my favorite authors) Once I got to college I had no interest in pursuing children's book work. It just seemed like there were so many other exciting options... why stick to children's book.
Anyways, I was sort of dreading this assignment. Here's a link to the Snail and the Rose Tree, it's a pretty dark story. I decided that since I wasn't worried about creating an actual portfolio piece it would be a good opportunity to experiment with my technique.
I work so much on the computer now, that I rarely get to use watercolors, pencils and collage anymore. (and I really miss that!) I've been trying to find a way to incorporate these materials and textures into my digital work, but only tentatively. I made it my personal goal to do that this week and I'm feeling pretty excited about the results. No, its not perfect, but it's a first step in the right direction! I also had a BLAST with all the hand lettering!! I'd definitely like to do more hand lettered work.
The men working at the market seemed incredibly focused. Amidst all the confusion they knew where to go. Running from stall to stall, others carving fish and older men taking copious notes while overseeing the stall.
Here's some bamboo reference I took.
Finally, I knew I needed to do a character study to get a handle on some of her movements and expressions. I figured it wouldn't hurt to include some background too. I love incorporating pattern into my work and I hate painting landscapes. So... I decided the best way to deal with this is to think of the background as small shapes and patterns. I think it works pretty well with my characters too.
Then, I painstakingly transferred the sketch onto my copper plate with some transfer paper. Next, I used my etching tools to carve the image into the plate. I printed it a few times and worked back into the plate until I was more or less happy with it. I can always work on it a little more later.
Of course after making this image I reflected on why I had made it. Was it because I feel like a giant freak being "the foreigner" here? Or maybe I was inspired by all of the Japanese myths I've been reading. Or could it be that I was subconsciously inspired by RoaldDahl'sBFG, one of my favorite children's books of all time? It's probably a mixture of all of these things.
Here's a close up where you can see the lines a little better. Anyways I'd love to get some feedback! That's one of the things that are hard to come by when you don't speak the language. Let me know what you think! Hopefully this week I can also put up some images of my trip to Kobe or the Fushimi Inari shrine we visited over the weekend.