Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I've been working on some poster projects lately, for various organizations (more on this to come!). During the sketching phase for one of these groups, I had a foggy idea to do illustrated letters, like the kind you'd see on the first page of a children's book. The idea remained stuck in my head, however... I didn't have any luck at all trying to sketch it out.
Several weeks later, the idea popped up again. It was one of those lightning rod moments (makes me think of Roger Von Oech's book, A Whack on the Side of the Head). I was in the middle of teaching a class, and suddenly, out of the clear blue, I saw this illustrated letter in my head, clear as a bell. I don't get inspired like that very often, but I'm always grateful when it happens! Initially, anyway.
Remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the version that was released in 1977? In that movie, Richard Dryfuss' character has a close encounter, and subsequently becomes obsessed with creating conical shapes. He carves them out of shaving cream, mashed potatoes, any malleable 'medium' he comes in contact with. That's how it feels, I think, in the hours/days/weeks after inspiration hits. It's an obsession, sort of an internal directive given from above, and until a girl is able to realize that vision, to get the inspiration out of her system, it can be quite overwhelming (understatement). It's sort of maniacal, but in a good way. Mostly.
So anyway, I got the inspiration, and thankfully had time to do something about it. Voila! My Capital L Girl came to be.
A few days later, my wonderful agent Anna sent out a group e-mail to tell us all that Nate Williams had posted a link to AGM's Pumpkin Carving Contest on illustrationmundo.com. She included a link, which I followed... only to stumble upon Nate's new site:
Two seconds later Anna sent another e-mail, explaining that she had sent the wrong link. But I thought, Wow, that mistake was meant just for me! Ten minutes later, my illustrated letter was posted on the letterplayground site, and I sat back in my studio chair, deeply satisfied. Directive: complete!