Creative freedom. I have worked on books, been handed manuscripts and have always made an effort to satisfy my creative abilities by initiating new projects. Back in 2008, I had the opportunity to illustrate an entire issue of In Character, the Grit issue. This past spring, I was contacted by publisher Brian Kauffman, who offered the chance to work on a cover-to-cover design of SubTerrain.
SubTerrain is a Canadian arts and literary review, offering short stories, poetry and art. Its tagline is 'Strong Words for a Polite Nation'. I haven't had the chance to work illustrate fiction and poetry very often. I reviewed the articles, scribbling down the images springing to mind. I wanted to create strong images to go with the words.
Working on this project was like an all-you-can-eat buffet, or a night at a gourmet restaurant. One tasty dish after another, each with a different flavour. Here are a few of the courses served up:
'Detachment' - a short story about a remote RCMP detachment, a stray dog, and the struggles of a young family, from the viewpoint of the oldest daughter.
'Beautiful Bratislava' relates the struggles of an aging poet, peddling his latest volume of collected works.
'Uncertainty Principle' - artwork to accompany a poem.
I was honoured to have my work regognized American Illustration jury. The following two pieces were chosen. Creative freedom and artistic affirmation. A great combination.
'The Red Mouths' - a coming-of-age story of an inner city girl, and the object of her affection.
'Passing' - finding a place in between high school and higher education, between two different countries and cultures.