Friday, 29 June 2012

Hello, hello! Off I go, to see my grandma, don't you know

I've just had another really good tutorial and I need to get some things out of my head and onto paper before a) I forget them and b) so I can process the information a bit better. Apologies in advance if I start to waffle slightly. I'm really enjoying the tutorial process for the first time in a long time. It's fantastic having invaluable input from someone who has worked in the illustration industry. I no longer fear Friday afternoons, in fact, I quite look forward to them!

So...from the last stage I was given the task of expanding the story to 12 illustration circles and a further 6 of text. This has been a really challenging process. I found that because I'd condensed the story telling into as few circle as possible, when I tried to put more info back in it complicated things. I sat for ages trying to figure out what could be added and which parts of the story were required but to be honest it made my brain hurt! I then had to try and incorporate a fold back reveal and getting it all in the right order considering all these factors. Until my tutorial today I didn't quite realise how much there was. It's too much. Due to the fact that the circles, in theory, have 2 illustrations in one (the flat and then the folded) it has ended up with there being 24 circles not 12!

In trying to make them into ecological illustrations in and working within limited boundaries it has made it a challenge to add in more information. You would think it would be the other way around, easier to add more not to take the information to the minimum.

I've also found that my illustrations are getting busier, rather than keeping their simplicity in appearance they are becoming crowded. Again, this defeats the object of trying to keep them as simple as possible in appearance but hold enough information to tell the story. Phew!

I need to re-assess how many circles to work with, I need to work on simplifying the images without losing the content and I need to try and add some life into them. At the moment they are pictures but they are quite flat and lifeless so I want to readdress how the picture works and how the characters work with each other. At the moment all my human characters look like they belong together but the wolf is still proving to be a tricksy character! The use of circles needs to be reintroduced or at least more rounded edges so that they flow better as interactive visuals and with each other.

A great person to consider here is Dick Bruna. He works with ridiculously simple shapes and creates amazing characters and illustrations that are full of life. I don't want to swoon too much so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The pictures are soft and friendly, there are no sharp corners, they are all rounded off. Even the house which would be made of brick has softer edges that are more in keeping with his style.The characters leap of the page and all engage with you because they face forwards and make eye contact, it draws you in somehow.

So...after much discussion and doodling, I'm going to rethink my illustrations by reintroducing circles and rounded edges into them. I need to make them flow much better and try to get my audience to engage with each image.

Boundary One: No sharp corners!

Because each circle tells at least 2 scenes of the story I am going to go back to just 6 as this will make images in total. Even though I am concentrating on getting the illustrations right I still need to keep in mind how the fold will effect the overall image and I'd like to get the folded information smoother within the image too. I can do this by making more use of the few lines I will draw. I'd like to try using negative space to explore this in more detail too, hiding information in the first circle that once folded will change into something else.

Noma Bar is probably the best person to illustrate how this could work within my own illustrations. He manages to tessellate two pictures to create several images in one. Quite handily the first one I found was a Little Red Riding Hood one. Boundary Two: Each circle must contain more than one image, this will probably happen when the image is folded.
Right I've got my work cut out for me (pardon the pun) so I'll be signing off and getting on with it! Thanks for reading!

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