It all started two weeks back when I went to Avenue Road and Commercial Street for some stationery shopping. It was a long pending task which I had ignored for sometime because of work overload. As illustrators, one of the basic ingredient of our work should be to use the right medium fit for the task, using the right paper, ink, brushes etc. is the salt of a good artwork. I roamed around the busy market streets, managed to get a good stock of paper, india inks, thin tipped brushes and other miscellaneous tools. I bought all these specifically for working on the pages of my comic, but when you own good equipments, your responsibilities increase towards its usage. Every gsm of the paper weighs you down to be good, it demands justice. When I was done pencilling a page, I realised that I better to do something else before inking the page. I had to be sure if the ink and water consistency will work well on the page. I needed a warm up exercise, so I picked a song to dedicate this artwork to, it's called 'flume', performed by Bon Iver in their very first album 'For Emma Forever Ago'. I had heard a few tracks of Bon Iver before, but it was only two months back when I got hold of their first entire album. Thank you, Mr. Kunal Sen for this. I was busy with a big project then, and most of my days would just go sitting in my room and working. This was when I started listening to their album from beginning to end, one song to another.
Flume was the first song on the list and with each repeated play it kept growing on me. It had an eerie wailing calm to it that complimented my lone days with work. I then read about the history of this album, Justin Vernon wrote and composed the entire album sitting in his father's cabin which was nestled into the woods. He was recuperating from an illness, a broken relationship and band that got dissolved months back. All these things must have created a void for him to fill up. I have often believed that the finest work of a musician comes out from nurturing a wound. Flume as a song is the sapling of that wound that is being healed and protected.
Now, getting back to the warm up exercise (which I knew would not be a short one), I had a visual image in my head for the song. I believe it picked the references from the interview and articles I read about the album, but the image was not built as a forced chain of thought, it was a spontaneous result that got framed with no particular intent. At one point of time I had three different live versions of Flume running on Grooveshark while working on this artwork. I started sketching it on paper, fleshing out the idea visually. Since it started as a doodle, I sort of strayed away from the clarity of information being conveyed. I was eager to use the inks, so I rushed towards the second step of process, which compromised the appeal of the artwork. Anyway, here are some photographs of the process and the final artwork -
|Click here for larger size.|
|Click here for larger size|
There's some text hidden in the trees, please let me know if you figured what it is. I think I failed in doing a good job with it. Anyway, enough talk on warm up exercise, I should start work on my comic now. Although, I hope I have paid my debts to this song for keeping me company in my room.
If you feel like sharing this artwork around on the web, feel free to do it, but please put the credits on my name with a link to the blog.