This is now the last project for the Access course. This time we choose it. We are given no brief. How exciting… This is what has kept me going through the last months!
I am proposing to write and illustrate a picture book as well as experiment with the format of the book itself. My objective is to explore and play with text and images and see how they can feed from another in an innovative way. I will keep the storyline linear but the story will be told by each character. We will be in their head and see the story unfold from each point of view.
Character design is key so I will also explore the use of drawing and composition whilst keeping the number of words to a minimum. Art and text will complement each other and enhance the narrative. This is after all a picture book not a story book in the old sense of the term. I strongly believe that children are capable of understanding a lot more than we give them credit for. They are more visually literate than adults in many ways.
I am not set on the media I will use yet and a lot of roughs will be done before I can decide which one is more appropriate to the story itself. I anticipate it will be mixed media though and I may even use CG art as I have only a few weeks to come up with a professionally finished product or as close as possible.
I will take the opportunity to research the age of digital media and the impact it has on children’s books. I might even look at the artificial division between fine art and illustration at a time when artists become ‘pluralists’.
To start with I will look at Maurice Sendak’s and Oliver Jeffers’ work. I’d better get to work then!
I talked about it. I dreamt it. I planned it. And here I am! A student again but in the discipline of my choice, where I will be able to create to my heart’s contempt and broaden my horizons.
Enrolling as an access student surely means that I am willing to accept that what I know will be questioned, put to the test and sometimes proven wrong. I will therefore do the same: question everything and argue constructively with my peers and tutors.
Well, this is the theory. Right now, I feel like a fish out of water. I don’t mean the usual stuff, such as getting to know your way round, meeting people and getting used to the way things work in general. No, this is the easy bit. I mean the work itself. I thought it would be fun too.
But there is so much to do from inception to end product that fun doesn’t come into the equation for even a second. Between the sketchbook, the journal (?), the research file and the blog, when will I find time to make art? I surely didn’t expect so much introspection right from the start.
Being thrown in the deep end from the start is daunting to say the least. But there again, it can also work as an advantage. There is no time to perfect the finished product. If you do so, you will run behind and jeopardise the other projects. I’ve already had a few sleepless nights going over the sequence of my animatic and thinking how on earth I would manage the next one not having completed the first one on time. Needless to say that it is not what I had signed up for!
But I love it. I love the challenge. I love being out of my comfort zone. I love to think and think and record things. This is actually a luxury that few of us in the real world can afford to do. I am sure that the only way is up.
‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’ – Pablo Picasso. I definitely intend to do this and embrace everything that will be thrown at me from now on.