I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks April through August 2019, a different theme was explored. Look here to see the line-up of stories from the event and to read them.
I wrote a series of posts explaining the art creation process for this event. Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project; for the other themes, search under the term “Revisits“ in this blog.
In addition to the illustrations for each theme covered in the Revisits event, I did an artwork intended for the main page of the Revisits 2019 page at Fictive Dream, the place where readers could go to access the collection of stories in one place. It’s a title page illustration, as I think of it, for a “book” of collected short stories.
As such it needed to fit in with the illustrations done for each individual theme: landscape, sky, tree(s). For this picture the choices were wide open – there was no theme to illustrate.
I did the work on this image at the beginning of the project. Looking back, waiting until the end might have been better, but I was not sure how quickly I’d get the theme illustrations done and I was afraid the event would begin, I had not done all the illustrations, and yet we needed the Main Theme illustration to be in place at the event page.
You may remember that Fictive Dream editor Laura Black and I were feeling our way with the illustrations for a little while in the beginning until we got a few produced and began to know what we wanted. This Main Theme illustration was part of that “feeling our way” process.
Originally my thought was to include an array of colors in the landscape to portray the variety of themes and stories in the collection. I came up with this collage:
Laura liked it but it was not what she was looking for. As an artist, it can be hard to hear this kind of news; even though it’s not a criticism of the work, it means I’ve missed the mark. But in commission work, missing the mark is not failure – it’s a way to better understand where the mark actually is and to try again.
When I was auditioning styles for the project, as the very first step, I submitted quite a few images to Laura as we worked out the picture, the text, the text placement and style, etc. I made some wildly different pictures to gauge her interest:
I am sure you can see the one that caught her attention. I had created it from magazine papers unified with a layer of paint, text digitally applied. Anyway, when we got to the Main Theme image she reminded me of this one and how she had liked it.
I created a new version in the same colors but using painted sketch papers so as to fit in with the other theme illustrations. The text is slightly larger to fill in the space better (since there is no theme word, using the same size type made the word Revisits look a little scared and lost!)
This picture fit the bill. I liked the look of it and more importantly, Laura felt it was a good long-term representative for the overall Revisits event as people visit it now or in the future.