THE ANIBET

Anibet = Animal Alphabet. Clever, I know.

One of the things that attracted me to illustration in the first place was the constant challenges. Each assignment needs to be solved, like a math equation or a puzzle. Except unlike puzzles and equations, there are no right answers, just good ones or bad ones.

I decided recently to take a puzzle that has been solved before and try to find my own answer to it- the animal alphabet. Each letter, in the shape of an animal whose name begins with that letter. I decided to make myself do each letter in order, and never do sketches more than two letters in advance, thus forcing myself to find solutions to the trickier letters before moving on to ones that have more obvious answers. That said, in the past week I have completed the first five letters- Alligator, Bat, Corgi, Dodo, and Eel.

This is just a preview; I look forward to soon owning a scanner and uploading these babies to Letter Playground.

THE DECEMBERISTS SERIES

I just graduated from CCA(C) with a degree in illustration back in May. Scary, right? But I decided it was about time to share my thesis work with anyone who may be interested.

My thesis was a collection of pieces based on songs by one of my favorite bands, The Decemberists. I chose pieces from throughout their catalog, spanning from their first album, Castaways and Cutouts, to their latest, The King is Dead. Their music is some of the most inspiring I have come across; each song tells a rich, nuanced story. The lyrics can be vague enough to be open to interpretation, but contain enough specificity to make a detail freak like me joyfully hunt down reference images of columbine flowers and mistlethrushes.

A Cautionary Song

So be kind to your mother

Remember what she does when you’re asleep

The Mariner’s Revenge Song

“There is one thing I must say to you

As you sail across the sea

Always your mother will watch over you

As you avenge this wicked deed”

Won’t Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)

Mistlethush, mistlethrush,

lay me down in the underbrush

My naked feet grow weary with the dusk

January Hymn

What were the words I meant to say before she left?

When I could see her breath leave where she was going to

Other pieces from the series, such as The Crane Wife, We Both Go Down Together, and From My Own True Love (Lost at Sea), can be seen here (including a few close-ups for details) on my website.

SKETCHING

I’ve never been good at sketching on the fly. I decided recently that that was no good. Enter the baby sketchbook; there’s something about only having a 4×6″ space and a non mechanical pencil that forces me to me faster and more crude than I usually am. It’s pretty refreshing to just spit something out and move on to the next page instead of fussing with little details like I usually do.