Because of the nature of the story (I won't get into the details, let me just mention that there are a lot of famous novels in history appearing in each issue. The rest, please read the series!) I get to jump around in ideas and concepts each issue.
Considering the main characters were in Nazi occupied Germany last issue, it is refreshing to illustrate cute animals for this one.
Every assignment starts from tons of thumbnails. I often talk to my students about the importance of thumbnails yet seldom post my thumbnails on Drawger, so here they are. Basically, these are really rough small sketches I make as I think of different ideas.
After thumbnails, the next step is to create sketches. As you can see, many of my thumbnails never made it to the sketch stage.
various reference materials and inspirations downloaded from internet: from cute animal babies to Shirley Temple and Winnie The Poo. A huge difference from creepy Nazi Germany references I had to download the issue before this one.
proceed to ink drawing stage. You can probably tell the scale from the laptop keyboard you see on upper left hand corner.
The left was the final initially created and submitted. The editor's comment was 'love it but a bit too sweet'. So we ended up killing the little mouse (it is in the story) to add a touch of darkness.
As you can see, flowers on her apron was added as separate drawing on the Photoshop coloring stage.
close up of the poor mouse lady. A trick I use to make the blood less cheesy is to avoid the actual blood color. This time I used pink.
The final layout. This issue is in comic book stores now.
I have known Zelda and Kurt personally for a year or two. It was nice to be able to collaborate with them in this special stand-alone issue. Please check the issue out in the nearest comic book store, and enjoy beautifully executed interior pages.
beautifully executed interior pages by Zelda and Kurt.
Bye bye winter blues. Hello SPRING! Ah, I have been in such good mood recently. Although I get stuck in my studio and not taking advantage of the weather so much, just by feeling the warm air, blue sky, and flowers, it puts me in a great mood.
If you are visiting New York right now, you are so lucky. It is the time of the year when New York shines like a diamond. You forget everything negative about this city, and just love being here!
I actually created this illustration when the day was getting shorter, weather colder, and feeling the brutal winter coming. It was published in Smith College Alumnae Quarterly in its' winter issue. I waited to post this because the vive of the image is so spring-y.
It accompanied an article about how Smith College has protected, nurtured and provided great education for women written by Catharine A. MacKinnon, from the class of '69.
Client was Ronn Campisi Design, who is always a great supporter of illustration. The cool part of this magazine is that Ronn hired all female illustrators/designers: Jillian Tamaki, Kim DeMarco, and one and only Gail Anderson, to name a few. I was in a great company. Thank you Ronn and thank you Smith College.
First round of sketches that got rejected. I got too fixated on the beautiful gate of Smith College. Freshen up my mind and start over on new round of sketches....
second round of sketches that worked. Ronn's comment was that the flowers protected look weak and sad, so I made minor changes to make the concept more uplifting.
final sketch. Ready to go to the final!
This was my secret weapon. Taschen publishes great resource books, and these Taschen Icon series, I have maybe about 50 books collected over about 10 years, all nicely arranged up on my bookshelf.
black and white drawing, scanned in and ready for coloring.
final layout. I love the pink border and elegant typeface. Thank you Ronn!
These photos I took over last one week mainly near my neighborhood in Morningside Heights other than the one on top left, which is Flatiron Building on 22nd Street. New York City at its' best!!!!!!!!!!
You don't know Yunmee Kyong's work? You are missing out a lot. But that's no more.
The latest on my illustartor interview article series for Japanese magazine Illustration features Yunmee and her whimsical and fantastic world. (layout are as follows)