Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vancouver Antiquarian Book Fair

I'm pretty excited for this event this upcoming Friday and Saturday. The only problem will be that I'll probably end up having a total fit because I won't be able to buy anything due to my recent self imposed budget restrictions on books. So really it'll be a bitter sweet affair. But I'll compensate by hopefully taking lots of photos and then (also hopefully) posting them.
Here's the link for the site and here's all the important details in case you can't read the text on the flyer above:

Vancouver Public Library
Friday Oct 15th 3pm-9pm
Saturday Oct 16th 10 am-5 pm
$5 admission good for both days

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Homework Assignment #4 (NEW) Due: Oct.18th

Illustration by Helme Heine from 'Na warte sagte Schwarte'
Homework for my Class: "Learn through research and example"
Two parts:
Take your dummy book home and sketch out a very rough layout for the story I will give you! (*or if you already have a story thought out use your own story! But I suggest you try your hand at this one I give you first anyway! Then do your own later or do both) This means you will first have to break the story down into images you want to illustrate. Employ the various Camera angels. You are the director of your movie/book. Get a feel for pacing and variation in composition…
a) From the 3 books you picked out of the library, pick one image where you really like the composition. Take one of the sketches you’ve made in your dummy book and improve it’s composition using this example of composition as inspiration! (like the 'composition cheat exercise' we did in class)
b) Develop two images from your dummy further. These will be your two final illustrations. (Use good paper! I don't want to see any flimsy printer paper please! Go to Opus and check out what they have. Stonehenge paper is a very versatile paper for example! Just buy a sheet or two to try it out.) 
c) Bring your storyboard dummy, and your finished illustrations to class along with the book you picked your illustration example from!

Here is the text for you to illustrate into your 32 page book dummy we made in class. Again, if you have text of your own go with that instead if you wish. But before you start have a look at some of the picture books you've been looking at and see how much a ratio of text and images there is. In other words, make sure that your text is not TOO LONG! However, for those of you who are really interested in illustrating other people's work, I suggest you illustrate this text I'm giving you seeing as this is what you'll be doing usually... illustrating a story that is not by you.

I will not give you the name of the story and also change the name of the main character because I don't want you to be able to reference the original book, so as to not have it influence your work.
I changed the name to Bob, but please feel free to change the name to whatever pleases you. THIS IS THE ONLY THING YOU'RE ALLOWED TO CHANGE IN THE TEXT, everything else must be included as is in your dummy. But it's up to you how much text you put where on the pages. Pay attention to this as it is the layout and the pacing of the book that we discussed in class.

This is Bob the Rabbit. Bob is a busy rabbit. "Bob! Where are you?" calls his Momma Rabbit. "Do you know what time it is?" says Momma Rabbit. Bob says: Is it time to follow a passing ship? Or time to stand on top of the world? Or is it time to make friends with a giant?I know! It's time to win a race. Maybe it's time to grow a mustache? Or time to use my flower-picking machine? Maybe it's time to throw some mudcakes? I think it's time to be the first pirate on the moon. Or is it time to fly across the city? Or is it time to drive a submarine? " Oh, Bob, it's just naptime," says Momma Rabbit. "That's what I was saying," says Bob, as he crawls into bed. Then he closes his eyes to dream of all the things he wants to do...
...and he did.

Here is a passage I thought might be helpful for you when it comes to deciding what to illustrate out of your text (that I will post next for you). This is written by Quentin Blake and is found in page 57 of his excellent book 'Words and Pictures'.

" Work on a book (one for which I haven't written my own words, that is) begins when the typescript arrives from the publisher; and it begins with reading. In a sense I'm reading the story as if I were two people at the same time: a normal reader, who is relishing a good story for it's own sake; and an illustrator, who is on the look-out for good subjects to draw, good moments. I probably read the story several times to get to know it, and I make underlinings and notes in the margin so that I can easily find the bits I want to refer back to later. Most of my choices I make by what feels like instinct; but when I look back on them I can see that what the illustrations are doing is not always quite the same thing on each occasion. [sic]"

Mrs Pepperpot

Whilst on the subject of my 'students' teaching ... I was asked by Amber who grew up in England if I knew the series 'Mrs Pepperpot' which I unfortunately did not. I have looked online for more on it, but have not really been able to find out too much about it other than some images of covers. Then I found one cover which looks different from the others leading me to think that as with so many series, the original series was continued by a different illustrator, and thus was never quite the same.... Here are the covers.
They look like they could be a lot of fun. Also, the cover with the original looking illustration was found on a japanese site, selling it right next to a German book I love called 'Die kleine Hexe' (The little witch) by Otfried Preussler who I covered a bit ago, thus making me believe that it has to be awesome ... obviously.... :) I guess I won't know until I get to see a copy.

J.J. Grandville

Thanks to one of my 'students' of my Illustration for Picture Books class, I have once again learned something else. This something else is J.J. Grandville. Lynda kindly let me borrow her book 'Grandville's Animals- The World's Vaudeville'. In this book are featured a collection of lithographs from two of Grandville's major books 'The Metamorphoses of the Day' (1829) and 'Scenes from the Private and Public Life of Animals' (1842).

From the introduction by Bryan Holme:
"It has been said that if it hadn't been for J.J. Grandville there would have been no John Tenniel and no Edward Lear. And if it hadn't been for the ancient Egyptian mystics who drew animal heads on human bodies, perhaps there would have been no Grandville either."
"Nothing like this had been seen before: birds, cats, dogs, elephants, tortoises-even beetles-behaving as well as looking like humans. Adding to the novelty of Methamorphoses, which became the rage in Paris, was the new lithography process by which the illustrations were printed. Clothing his animals in the fashion of the day and giving them human airs, gestures, emotions and thoughts, Grandville assigned each of his characters a role in the world's vaudeville" as Charles Blanc so aptly put it."
"Together with the Grimm brothers' collection of fairlytales, which had been published in Germany in 1812 and in England in 1823 under the title of 'Household Stories' Grandville's two books represented milestones in publishing that se the stage for a whole new trend in fairytale and animal story books."
"Grandville was to influence hundreds of illustrators. By 1850s, Charles Bennett had illustrated his bizarre Aesop's Fables, a book which could amost be taken for the work of Grandville, and George Cruikshank was drawing Grandvillesque cartoons like his 'Fellows of the Zoological Society' for The Comic Almanack. In the 1870's Walter Crane's Beast in Beauty and Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood were in the same Grandville genre. Later came Arthur Rackham, and after the turn of the century, Beatrix Potter, and later still Walt Disney and so very many other young illustrators, each depicting animals as humans in his own particular way. Until recently however, the far-reaching influence of Grandville's books was never fully recognized outside France except by artists, illustrators, and connoisseurs. "
"For professional reasons-his father also being an artist- Grandville adopted the stage name of his grandfather, who was an actor of repute. His real name was Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gerard. "
"In 1823 the family scraped enough money together to send him to Paris, where he was to study art and make his own way. Within a short four years his first illustrations, Four Seasons of the human life, were published and and - shortly thereafter, Voyage to Eternity, inspired by Holbein's series of woodcuts The Dance of Death. "
While looking Grandville up I also came across his series of 'Les Etoiles' (The Stars) and 'Les Fleurs' (The Flowers). I have featured a couple of these in the images above. They are pretty unique and I am really glad to have found them! Also, here's a good blog post on Grandville at Love for Books.... and ... here's a good piece giving you a glimpse into a specific image of Grandville's and how to make sense of it. So yeah, thank you Lynda Cameron! Way to teach me something!