The unsurpassed Klare Lijn website asked me to make a New Yearscard bringing their best wishes for 2009. Being very honored by this request I made an illustration in which I tried to reflect the atmosphere of these days. But I also attempted to bring in a spark of hope for the future. And for the detail-lovers: some numbers can be discovered. The cards were signed and numbered.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I have told you before that an important part of Splinters is based upon real history. I could use parts of the diary of my uncle Gijs. Gijs was one of the soldiers that stayed in the village where my grandparents and my mother lived. He and his mates tried to fight the Germans during the 1940 may-days.
My mother, Lena, was born on the 1st of may, 1931. So she was just 9 years old when the war broke out. She was my grandparents only child. The soldiers liked my mother very much, especially because of her white hair.
My mother has died in 2001 and I didn't speak a lot with her about the war-years. She was just a child then and didn't remember very much of it. A couple of weeks ago my father gave me her 'Stamkaart' and a picture on which you see here dressed as a soldier. He had found them while cleaning some cupboards. I think it's a lovely picture, but I can't say if she tries to give a dangerous look or is just shy.
In my new story Splinters I sometimes use 'full-page' illustrations. I like to focus on the emotion, action or person that is important at that moment in the story. I decided to bring in some variation in the lay-out of the pages by using one drawing to fill a complete page with. It also shows the reader that something important is happening, or that, for instance, a new day is starting or that they're going back in time.
It's not something new. Of course other artists did it already in the past, like Craigh Thompson in Blankets. I think it can work very strongly and can bring a lot of drama if you do it in the right way and and at the right moments.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
As a designer I know the power of a typeface to communicate something and give a word or sentence a strong or emotional character. For the title of my new book Scherven (Splinters in English) I've tried a lot different typefaces already. Trying to give the word the character that fits best to the story. I show you some of the more interesting ones I made.
I made the one on the top quite a while ago. I thought it would be nice when the letters where made out of splinters. When I saw it back a few months later I found it very obvious: you see waht you read and there is no emotion in it.
I think in the second one there is more atmosphere, it's raw, distorted and shows in a way the things that happen in the story.
The third one is my favourite at this moment (it can still change in the future...). It's sharp, a bit mean and you almost feel some pain in it. I think when you see this on the cover of a book, it gives an impression of what kind of story you can expect.
Last sunday, 4th of january, I have taken away my stuff from Lilys gallery. The exposition has ended. It was a very nice experience. A lot of different visitors came by, also people who aren't directly comic-fans. I always feel a little pity when something like this ends, but my car was less filled when I drove home, because quite an amount of my work has been sold. That means that in some houses of some families, somewhere one of my drawings is brightening up a room.