A busy weekend in Irving Towers. I still have to do the art for my 1000th follower (I haven’t forgotten) as I have been wrestling with starting my latest job. I have discovered, after many years, that starting is always the hardest part. It involves familiarising myself with new characters, new locations, new ideas, and this often requires me to start making actual pages as opposed to endless layouts and doodles. Only once I actually start telling the story do I get a handle on the visuals, only once the characters are put in motion do they begin to “act” in my head. It’s at that point when all my preparation and carefully thought-out ideas get chucked out the window and what appears on the pages after that bears little resemblance to what I had expected.
Frankie was no different. Before I started, I had a very strong idea of what this book would look like, and I even did sketches to explore various methods. The layouts were extremely rough (I think I did them in a day) but they had no indication of the sort of rendering I would use, as they were very very basic scribbles of what went where and some verbal guides for the writer to understand what I was doing.
The opening scene was the first that I drew, and it has the most detail. It’s also the least caricatured of the lot, and I think it has the least personality. By the time I reached the pages you see above, I had gotten fully into the swing. This is how I managed to do those 70 pages in 10 days, because I knew all the cast by this point, I knew how the landscape was formed, I knew what the shadows were saying.
One could see this process as a mirror for life: by the time you’ve figured out how it all works, it ends (so they say). With my career/job/calling, there’s always another project that follows, and it is always different, and I always get to carry what I learned from the last one over to the new one and marvel at how the art evolves into new surprising forms. With any luck that’s also what existence is, so I hope I can carry over the wisdom I am learning as a human over to the next level of existence as a quantum-folding pan-dimensional space jellyfish.