I began my rough work for the poem, ‘Sentenced to life’ by Clive James, by first rereading and reviewing the visual language in the poem and considered the elements of that I wanted to reflect in my illustration. I also set out the aims that I’d like to achieve and the rough direction that I want to take my production into. From my initial ideas and readings of the text, I had the thought that I’d like to take the cover in a ore interactive direction with the inclusion of a QR code linking you to an animation of the design. I wanted to do this so that I could both explore my digital media skills and also to really show off how technology can enhance the illustrative experience of the piece; creating a scene and reflecting a real sense of the moment of peaceful melancholy reflection that the poem captures.
One of the features of the poem that really stood out for me upon reading it, was the circle of fish in the pool, their vibrant Autumn colours and how they hypnotise the protagonist, who’s perspective the poem is written from. Therefore I knew very early on that I wanted this to be the focus and the central feature of my illustration, as they have a strong composition and great potential for animation. My first rough idea was therefore based on this, as well as the other colour pallet that the text suggests, that of the sky at night. In addition, I continued the theme of autumn colours and a sunset pallet, by using a bright golden ink in the water:
Continuing it in the same vein, from this initial rough, I then looked at developing this theme and adding in more concepts from the language in the text. Carrying on with the colour themes and the concept of the fish autumn pallet pond in a galaxy coloured night sky. From the poem and the language that James uses, I got a really strong sense of the bright mesmerising colours and the intensity of the scene painted by the text; I really want to reflect this in my illustration and the contrasting shades that I’m using in my pallet, are aimed to really emphasise the vibrancy of my chosen pallet.
Taking these roughs, I then used my fellow studio dwellers, to gain some feedback and perspective on my work so far. From the comments and advice that I got, everyone seemed to agree that the fish, the foot prints and the bright contrasting colours where the strongest design features. Further development the imagery from both will therefore be my focus going forward. From the comments, I gathered also that people seemed to really like the interactive animation idea and seemed to think that including a QR code in some capacity (I’m yet to decide where I might put it in regards to the front cover or the back ect) was a good idea, suggesting that I could animate the feet and/or the fish in the pool; as both are integral parts of the text and both would make for a really cool graphic. This will definitely be something that I consider, when I get into the animation stage of this project, as could add a new level to the work and really create a more finished and professional product.