Deadline: 9.30AM, Thursday 25 February
In this brief you will focus on creating illustrations that are a visual representation of the author's words you have been given. This is what we would call 'literal' illustration.
You will be provided with a short story and are asked to produce two illustrations to accompany it.
One illustration is a full-page, full bleed image which should be presented as follows: CMYK - image size 160mm wide X 226mm high at a resolution of 300 dpi. Note: this dimension includes a 3mm bleed around all four sides.
The second image is a black and white chapter heading that is aligned to the body of the justified text. As such it must occupy an area of 105mm wide X 50mm high. Note: there is no requirement that it has to have a crisp, rectangular edge so you may treat it as a vignette. The final artwork should be presented as a 300 dpi, grayscale image.
My short story is "The Lost Hearts" by M. R. James, a well known writer of short horror stories.
-Set in the 1800s in Lincolnshire
- Main characters include: Mr Abney, Stephen Elliot (orphan boy), Mrs Bunch, lost little girl and lost little boy.
-Theme of the story, two children go missing and haunt Stephen, Stephen wonders what happens to them and is wary of Mr Abney. He finds out about the circumstances of their death when he finds mr Abney dead in his chair and reads from his book. It is revealed that Mr Abney killed both children and ate their hearts to gain immortality, he was planning to do the same to Stephen but the ghost children kill Mr Abney before he can go through with it.
Annotation of Short story
As wells as listening to the mp3 of the story to get the atmosphere of the piece, I also went through and annotated the story, picking out areas of detail that would help inform my practice and selecting areas of the story that I felt would produce an interesting visual.
I watched the bbc adaptation of ‘Lost Hearts’ just to get a feeling for the setting and the character choices. However, the story didn’t stay true to M.R. James writing and added in elements which I suppose were for character development but didn’t add much to the story. It was interesting to see how it has been adapted to screen, but I think I will rely on my own imagination and the written text for inspiring my development.
Fashion in the 1800s
while researching into the fashion of the time I found an interesting blog on skeleton-suits, which boys between the ages of 4-11 would have worn in the 1800s. As the main character in my story is an 11 year old boy, I was interested in learning what they would have worn in the 1800s and they mostly dressed like little men with trousers, jackets and waistcoats. I also learnt that little girls would have worn their dresses to a certain length to indicate their age, however this wouldn't have been the same for the poorer population, as they often wore handed down clothing.
I have looked at a few different illustrators for this project to get an idea of how different styles can be successful when illustrating a scary story. Artists I have researched include, Isabella Follath, Anja susanji, Rovina Cai and Shaun Tan.
After feedback on my thumbnails I need to consider my use of composition and angles in order to create more dynamic imagery and add to the theme of horror and foreboding. Using reference imagery may help me to get a better grasp on body language and composition. I have also decided to focus on a specific area of text which really stands out to me: “a windy, noisy day, which filled the house and the gardens with a restless impression. As Stephen stood by the fence of the grounds, and looked out into the park, he felt as if an endless procession of unseen people were sweeping past him on the wind, borne on restlessly and aimlessly, vainly striving to stop themselves, to catch at something that might arrest their flight and bring them once again into contact with the living world of which they had formed a part.”
Focused thumbnails / Chapter Header thumbnails
Focusing on getting the idea of a ‘procession of unseen people’ and linking the chapter header illustration to the story but not necessarily the main image.
Worked up visuals
These ideas are the three which I think are the most visually interesting and also tell a story.
Final outcome - Chapter Header
Final outcome - full page, full bleed, full colour
Book mock ups