Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grad School Bootcamp: Week Two!

Last week I spoke about my first of the two week contact period for the Low Residency MFA in Illustration program. And today I'll go on a bit about week two. 

After week one finished on friday we essentially reset again and start off the following week with new classes and lectures. It's a bit more relaxed than week one also because we didn't have the business of illustration class at both 7:30am and 6:30pm.
What we did have though, was still quite a challenge: Create a fully roughed out children's book dummy in just 4 days from scratch.

We did come to class with our story ideas already figured out, but I'm not much of a children's book writer. So to save myself the headache I decided to stick with a classic. I chose Jack and the Beanstalk. Now, I think the original story of Jack and the Beanstalk could use a little tweaking, but with my time constraints I had to keep to the task of creating images.
I did, however have two ideas that would make it a bit different from most other versions of the classic tale. 

First, I decided that I would like to give the story a bit more of an orientalist flair. Mostly because I like the design elements of orientalist art and I can also pull loosely on my experiences in Egypt to help inform certain things. Second, I would like the format of the book to open vertically. This would give me tall spreads that would help push the perspectives and size relationships for things like the height of the beanstalk, the size of the giant and his house, etc...

So off to thumbnails I went...but there was a problem. The week prior I was pummeled with the idea of doing 50 thumbnails for every 1 idea. But I only had 6 ideas to flesh out last week. Now I have between 14-20 full spreads, and less days to do them in. It wasn't going to work so I had to make the best of it. I started a sheet with measured thumbnails in photoshop and just started drawing. It looked like this:

After getting a bunch of ideas down I began picking the ones I would like to develop for each spread. You can see in the right column where I've stared filling spreads with thumbnails from the left. After that was settled, I started fleshing out my thumbnails in photoshop for the rough dummy. Usually at this point I would have shot reference and everything, but there was no time for that....which I think was good in some cases, and maybe a little rough in other cases. Whatever the deal was, I think it was good for me to have to rely on stuff from my head rather than photos immediately.

So here's a few of the spreads:

In the end, the book ended up being 48 pages which came out to about 20 spreads. These were a lot of fun to flesh out and I think the book as a whole came out well...considering it was done in 4 days. 

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