Lilla Rogers Studio Global Talent Search Round 2: Idea Land!

I made the shortlist for Lilla Rogers Studio Global Talent Search! Fifty great artists got to create a new work, a page out of a graphic novel which was such a cool challenge! I used to make comics when I was younger but what would I like to do now? Those questions and more answered this week. The top pic is my entry but keep scrolling to see how the magic went down!

 Margaretta Hare Morris: Great Women in Science--My entry for round 2 of the Global Talent Search 2018!

Margaretta Hare Morris: Great Women in Science--My entry for round 2 of the Global Talent Search 2018!

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How it went down: We were given the props below as the inspiration so when you see the 50 different entries, you'll also see a lot of stories with similar characters and this is why. The gallery will be open for public voting Wednesday, July 25th to Monday, July 30th closing for voting at 9am PDT / 12 noon EDT / 5pm BST on Monday, July 30th).

 These were the wacky props Lilla gave to uss!

These were the wacky props Lilla gave to uss!

My first drawings and ideas start below. I let the rest of the story sort of fill in as I made the drawings. I tell myself all sorts of stories as I draw. Is this normal? Who cares?!

 This just happened.

This just happened.

 And then this...

And then this...

 Sketchbook page with fancy but probably too weird skirt work. I also added my dog Pablo as the model for Mary Jone's dog Heinrich. Later I made both Pablo and Heinrich, naturally.

Sketchbook page with fancy but probably too weird skirt work. I also added my dog Pablo as the model for Mary Jone's dog Heinrich. Later I made both Pablo and Heinrich, naturally.

My first idea for a story was about Mary Jones, a lover of green green moss and her dream to go to Johns Hopkins University. The two people in the picture then naturally became Mary and John. No love affair, purely dreams born of passion for moss and Victorian era professionality. 

 Sketchbook, dirty nails, don't judge.

Sketchbook, dirty nails, don't judge.

I did of course think about a love story featuring the male protagonist as Julias Von Shtickler and gifts of perfume, moccassins and sweet meats (spelled here as "Sweet Meets" which prompted me to play with words a little.

Moth_chart-150.jpg

I thought about Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things, a book I'd read a few years ago basically about a girl who is interested in science and grows up to study moss in Philadelphia.  Then I thought about Elizabeth Gilbert and listened to her talk about the story. Then I listened to a few episodes of her podcast about creativity and writing. Then I drew my characters playing music and painting, Then I painted this moth chart and played some more with ideas of how I can flesh out and fit all of this story onto one page in 9 days in technicolor.

 Sharing with you this initiate moment of my sketchbook page where I flesh out stuff I love so that it may enter the universe out loud.

Sharing with you this initiate moment of my sketchbook page where I flesh out stuff I love so that it may enter the universe out loud.

I thought more about the props and the story I wanted to tell. How could I make a story about moss interesting? I had to think out of the box. Literally. Even though most graphic novels are set in boxes. Did they have to be? I started to look at images and found an old photo from when Buffalo lived wild all across the American planes. I loved the arc. I loved the idea of setting the story in the Old West since I am working in New Mexico this summer! So now I have a story about a girl who lived in the Old West who loved either moss or moths. And there were going to be buffalo. And music and painting.

 Home on the Range

Home on the Range

 Then this happened.

Then this happened.

 Everyone had red hair.  John Hopkins became Papa.

Everyone had red hair.  John Hopkins became Papa.

 A bunch of dudes with only eyes so far on a river boat.

A bunch of dudes with only eyes so far on a river boat.

My final story was an organic flow playing with words and characters. I thought about how fun it would be to do a graphic novel collection about Women in Science who made a difference. I found out about Margaretta Hare Morris  a woman who became America's first woman entomologist respected by the likes of Charles Darwin. She also lived in Philadelphia her whole life (as did Liz Gilbert's moss lover) but she never left PA.  So I bent her story to mine and made it about a girl who had grown up on a ranch, loved moths but was misunderstood.  Not only does the name Margaretta Hare Moss alliterate well with the words "moss" and "moth" but conceptually tackled the idea of the hairbrush prop with her middle name. 

 It gave me the chance to draw all kinds of things I loved: animals hiding in plain site, starry nights of discovery, old times lettering. I got to try my hand at breaking some rules and creating a page that flowed organically. I wanted to tell a story of big dreams, passion and perseverance in the colors of the landscape I love. With a bit more time, I might clean up some places and create spaces where the eye could rest more. I'd play more with the lettering, make it a bit less packed in, but all in all what an experience to have made this in a week!

Don't forget to vote for your favorite 5 here, and thank you in advance if one of them is me! 

 YAY MARGARETTA HARE MOTH! I MEAN MORRIS!

YAY MARGARETTA HARE MOTH! I MEAN MORRIS!

Starting the Day

Sometimes when I begin a studio session, I need to read before I get blank enough to begin. Other times, especially with a full spectrum project under way I get right in there without hesitation.

I often think creativity shouldn't be hard, but everything's hard when you think more than you work.

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