Sunday, 15 May 2011

seedling changeling

Ok, please bear with me here. I know this blog has been a mass of stop/starts, changing roughs and long periods of total silence. It's basically the book blog equivalent of being hopelessly lost on a country road without a map. Probably in the dark. Near a sinister tree. With an owl.

The trouble is that's a truthfully accurate reflection of how this book's progress has been in my head. If it's frustrating to read about it, believe me it's 100 times worse living it!

Anyway, here's how it goes. I see the finished images in my mind, I sketch what I think is a fairly faithful representation of that in thumbnail form, then I sit in front of a pristine, super scary sheet of white stretched paper, start working, and *poof* it disappears!

This image is a good example. Here's the rough:

And here's the finished illustration:

See? Somewhere between visualising it, sketching it and painting it, it got fussy and somehow completely lost... What? I don't know. The essence of it, I guess. As an image on its own I still like it, but... it's just not what I meant. Not what I meant at all. I wish I could be more specific.

Now granted, what follows might seem like a blatant promotion for my shop, but it's really not (honestly!). There was something strangely uncomfortable for me about seeing all my work together in one place. It prompted me to stop and take stock in a massive "that's not what I meant at all" type way. I'd even go as far as to say I've been experiencing something of a mild creative crisis of sorts. (You can read more about my angsty midnight mini cheddar munching over here if you're that way inclined).

So while I've been gone from this blog for some time, over on Scribbles in Ink I've been experimenting with a much simplified, stronger and graphic way of working (like the cow print above) and think I'm finally ready to start The Growing Boy take three.

As a result, I've revisited the first rough I did (first time round and subsequently replaced by the book carrying boy above - I told you to bear with me, right?):

Which has now become, in very rough form, this:


  1. Wow! Love that first illustration with him holding the books! You are so talented. I can only draw stick people. lol :)

    Stopping by from the etsyblogteam. Hope you can pop over and say hi at my blog sometime!

  2. I do love your illustrations. And I also know a little about angst with creativity:):) Hang in there, this too shall pass:)

  3. lol, after seeing the dog in the illustrations, I MUST get this book when it is completed. Please finish it. :)

    Oh, I really really like the drawing of the boy holding the books. The colors are just gorgeous!

  4. I love your illustrations! Wonderful work! Illustrating a book must be so exciting for you.

  5. Thanks for all your comments. The hardest thing about working on my own project is the lack of deadlines and bouncing ideas - not easy if you're as big a procrastinator as I am! The feedback and support is much appreciated.

  6. I love thie illustration of the boy with the books. I feel like that boy is me. Too many books really represents my multi-tasking lifestyle. I love it!

  7. I LOVE the illustrations you're doing! But know exactly what you mean about not being quite what you'd envisaged - I have that all the time in my cards and mosaics! (boo)

  8. "give me sun, give me dirt, give me water" is a gorgeous starting point, glorious even, powerful with as many allusions to summer as to nature as to convey a wonderful sense of meaning.

    But, the 2nd draft of the scene sucks tho. The first has the boy as an awkwardly (look at his feet) centre, but with the question why - judging by his eyes - is he so tired, mopey, upset, depressed or what have you. The subsequent rough loses any notion of centre in favour of an overwhelming morass of harsh black lines.

    Sort it out you, there's loads of people wanting to cheer you and your talent on.