Friday, 11 May 2012


Our most recent brief is a collaboration with MMU students, there has been 8 short stories chosen for us to illustrate which will be produced into a book later on in the year. The story I was given was 'ladies', a story about a teenage boy who is working as a cleaner at a primary school, he finds a pregnancy test in one of the rubbish bins and this causes him all sorts of stress and drama throughout the day, he wonders who it belongs to, is it one of the cleaners, the teachers, or even weirder, one of the childrens? He is working with 3 ladies, A butch middle aged mother like figure, a young sweet lady, who the boy is instantly besotted with and another lady, who the writer described as quite nasty in aura. The boy dwells on who the test belongs to whilst listening to the women gossiping whilst he is forced to make a cup of tea.

I didn't want to just blatantly illustrate something from the story no did I want to include the pregnancy test, as the job of an illustrator when illustrating text is to illustrate the things that we can't find in the text. I instantly began to draw the women and the boy and worked on different character styles, as the writer said he was keen for me to include these. I wanted the boys face to look scared, worried and isolated. The idea of isolation led me on to drawing the boy from inside a building, us looking on from the outside world. I started with a really simple illustration made on illustrator (below), everyone liked it to an extent but seemed to think I could do better, and pushed me to further the idea.

My tutors began to refer back to older work of mine such as my age uk piece and questioned why I hadn't used the same cinematic type angles and compositions as I had in these past works, and how this would make the idea work much better. I started to look at images like below, showing people in similar scenarios in different compositions. 

A Young Man at His Window by Gustave Caillebotte

When starting creating my new image, it seemed like too much work, it was really hard working out how the lines would go, what direction, was angle. However once I just got on with it and carried on I decided my it was definitely not too much work, it was definitely worth it! The way that I create imagery is informed greatly by my love of photography, my love of complex composition, and the idea of telling a story from an image. 

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