The Great Book Seminar Saga
Part I: The Wall
...in which Lisa's studio wall is completely hidden under an inch of paper and Viktor sends a package...
Another day, another bucket of crumpled paper and another handful of passable sketches added to the wall of my li'l studio. The wall next to my drawing table is a veritable jumble of papers. To the untrained eye, it might seem as though my sketchbook ate something that didn't agree with it and was sick all over the wall. Actually, that's not so far off. The wall is covered with layer upon layer of taped-up thumbnail drawings, first sketches, second sketches, color tests, inked versions, failed scratch board illustrations, and (crossing fingers) what might actually be finals for a picture book project.
The Wall is devoted entirely to one class (cue dramatic music and thunder crashes), my Book Seminar. So the project... in August, Viktor (the prof) sent us a short story ("Buying Lenin" by Miroslav Penkov) that the entire semester's work would be based upon. Our initial assignment was to propose a sequential project based on the story - a picture book, comic, graphic novel, illustrated story sort of thing, or anything else that lends itself to a series of related images likes posters or thematically tied pieces.
I struggled with the assignment. To give you an idea, Viktor arrived in class the first day and said, "It's a great story. It has something for everyone - war, death, Bulgaria, loss, communism..."
Yeeeah... great picture book themes, right? Totally fits my work and aesthetic.
Anywho, I came up with an idea that would allow me to do something more interesting to me while still remaining vaguely tied to the story. It was about leaving home and missing home and loss and absence...
Long story short, it crashed and burned. I spent five weeks pulling out my hair and churning out pictures that didn't feel like me. Viktor even nixed the one thing I really liked about one of the images... the goat.
It's not that I hated aaaaall of the pictures...
but honestly it all felt just meh.
So week five, I scrapped the whole thing, pulled an all nighter, and by class the next day had sketches and layout for a thirty-two page picture book.
End Part I
Stay tuned for The Great Book Seminar Saga, Part II : The Picture Book
...in which Viktor lights a fire, and Lisa gets the heebie jeebies...