Lately, I'm working on some illustrations based on a narrative which emerged around the fox mask I created. Although I want to work on some more full-head animal masks soon, and possibly some more bits and pieces of the same nature (sculptural things rather than masks, but using the same technique), I'm happy for the moment to focus on telling his tale.
Maurice is a dapper country gent, living in a small village in the hills. When a harsh Winter falls, he begins to feel that Spring isn't coming, and leaves in search of a better life in the city. Upon arrival, he's overwhelmed by the harsh reality of city life and soon realises he's out of place here, causing him to return to his rural home, finding that a glorious Spring has arrived and the hills have burst into bloom. Finally, he feels happy and at home in his surroundings.
I'm not using much text in the story, maybe key 'mood' words but no descriptive sentences, as I feel this will push me to create stronger images with clearer visual narratives.
I'm also dabbling in very low-tech animation, as this is something I've tried before but always pushed aside as this isn't my background. However, I think there is some potential in this and may start to produce some better quality animation at a later date.
I started working on an owl puppet last week, which will become part of some of my illustrative work as well as the 'Susie and the Owl' show I'm working on as part of Zoo Case Theatre (follow the link to keep up with us on Facebook! We also tweet @zoocasetheatre, occasionally!)
Making the head was straightforward, but for some reason the body has been a struggle - most likely because I've never made a moving owl before! I was trying to make the body and wings from paper mache like the head, but it just dragged on and on and didn't feel right, so I decided I needed to get away from it for a little while.
So I got out of my space and decided to do something large scale with the fox head, to try and loosen me up a bit. The way I work is usually really free and intuitive, which I think is why trying to figure out this puppet had been draining the life out of me.
This was a nice afternoon task, and I'm going to use a better quality photo than this to collage into other illustrations.
The blobs on the wall are left over from Ella Kate Harrison's degree show. I love her work, and you can check it out here.
So, after a nice distraction period, I went back to thinking about the owl and decided I needed to get back into textiles, with a nice stuffed, podgy body. Here he is in progress...
I know it looks really weird at the moment, but it will hopefully be much better when the wings are added! I've run rods through the centre of his body so he'll have a turning head.
Hoping to finish this guy by Weds next week at the latest, so we can rehearse and I can get stuck in with collage images again!