“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Monday, May 16, 2011

FOR KATIE & GRAYSON_commission


[8.5 x 11" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on sketchbook paper]


I didn't have any affinity nor any familiarity with these characters, the book that they came from nor the author. It's been dubbed an American classic and has since gained the acclaim of children, parents, critics and fans world wide. It even spawned a full length movie. That said, I never understood its appeal.

Then KATIE COOK comes by my table at MOTOR CITY COMIC CON and asks me to do an image in a themed sketchbook for her beautiful daughter, Grayson - a gift she'll eventually give to her once she's come of age. Katie provided me with reference material in the form of the original publication, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by MAURICE SENDAK, which was helpful because I always try to familiarize myself with the subject matter as much as possible before I draw it; I believe it helps with the narrative of the image if I know a little about it. Reading it took all of 5 minutes as it's only 40 some-odd pages long, and with the help of Wikipedia and other informative articles online, I quickly grew to appreciate why it has endured for as long as it has, why it has garnered all its critical success, and why it has resonated with young and old alike.

But beyond any and all of that, I was drawing the image for Grayson - and that made the experience extra special.

It was such a huge privilege to be able to contribute to Katie's collection and it was a bit of luck that, through her request, I was able to read the original material and learn a little bit more about its author (I learned that even if you can't draw a horse, you're going to end up writing and drawing a classic. But it's probably good if you learn how to draw a horse too). So, I guess you could say, in a weird round-about way, Grayson has already done her part to make me a better illustrator.

Thanks, kiddo.


PS - Your mom is awesome. Love her always.

7 comments:

Wouter Bruneel said...

Brilliant. Your work is always great but this change of theme puts it in a new light.

Andy Chang said...

Beautiful!

Matt said...

I really liked the illustration (your stuff never disappoints) but I loved the explanation. What a beautiful idea.

j_ay said...

very cool!

TMALO70 said...

That Grayson kid is Lucky to have a Fantastic Mom, one who is prepping such an Incredible gift with this sketchbook... Your entry is Awe-Inspiring...

Mark Chiarello said...

WOW!

Julia Bax said...

Oh man, this is so cute! how am I supposed to get back to the drawing board now??
I love your pure B&W ink finish but I also dig this blue grey marker look. If I ever get to order a commission from you it would be hard to know which I would prefer..