Evolving stories

I've found myself picking up my pens a lot more over the last week since I decided to take on a new illustration project. I didn't expect to find myself doing so soon but it's a welcome warm-up as I head closer to the project kick-off.

While creating doodles I've discovered something about the way I sometimes draw which I've never really noticed before.

With some doodles, I have a clear idea of what I want to draw but with most, I tend to put pen to paper and just start moving my hand. Typically I'll always start drawing eyes, as the placement, size and relative spacing to each other has an impact on the overall drawing. They also give me an indication of what the character should be but most of all they help set an emotion. I will then usually follow the eyes with eyebrows, which adds another emotional dimension, then the nose and so on.

I like this blind approach because I have to tell myself a story to explain each element. By the time I've finished a drawing I have a small back story in place, albeit in my head, to explain why a character looks a certain way or how they came to being in a particular situation.

To me, the guy in this doodle is down and out. Just been fired or perhaps just depressed at the state of the world he reads about in his paper. It started out as a quick scribble and evolved into this all based on the orientation of the eyes and eyebrows. The fact they're looking down dictated that the head was also facing down etc.

This doodle has sparked off an idea for 52 weeks, 52 works whereby in one week, I'll produce a set of 7 illustrations which each tell their own story but are all related to or somehow affected by one another. I'd have to do a bit of prep for this so it's not likely to materialise in the first few weeks or months but it's something to for me (and hopefully you) to look forward to.