Cover song

The final piece of the puzzle before I head to London for my class's gallery show at Foyles Bookstore. For the book cover, I wanted to strike a vintage chord without going too far overboard. I'm no Saul Bass. More of a Saul Guppy.

I also wanted to introduce Melvin himself, give a sense of his personality before the story even begins. Hey! What a fun-loving, musical goat! Who's also ambidextrous! Huh. Okay.

For the strictly-hypothetical published version of the book, I hope to have the purple area of the tuxedo cut out, exposing a small part of a completely purple and velvety hardbound cover beneath. I'd also hope the sunburst design surrounding the tux would be stamped in gold foil, and that the book itself would be sprayed with some sort of consumeristic pheromone that would force anyone within a 10-foot radius to buy a copy. As long as we're in the realm of the hypothetical here.


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At last, the big day arrived!

[click for larger image]

Two days ago, the final assignments for my MA were submitted to my professors. After a year and a half of dedicated study and work, I'm left torn between being super excited about finishing, and feeling a little lost. I have been wanting to get an MA in illustration ever since I left my undergrad, and have spent the last seven years researching programs, applying to them, and saving towards tuition. All that work and dreaming, to have it all over. Feels bittersweet.

Also feels like Heimliching out a half-chewed wad of broccoli. After 70+ hours a week in my suffocating studio, I can breathe again! I can go outside! I... I can walk! I CAN WALK!

And I can finally go birdwatching again!

And eat out!

And play games!

So much to do!

Then why the heck am I on the computer? ADIOS!


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Shop talk

Just in time for Christmas, here's the final version of the sketch I posted a few weeks back. I'm sure many of you can empathize with the condition these goats have found themselves in. Just wish I had the foresight to give one of the goats a canister of pepper spray.

Initially, the goats were to be surrounded by logos for the various stores they patronized, but I found the logos cluttered up the page too much (plus, I wasn't a huge fan of how they turned out). If the book ever gets published, I'll instead include them as a pattern for the front endpapers, with Melvin's favorite album covers patterning the back endpapers. In the meantime, here's a sneak peak.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams

At long last, the first completed page of my picturebook!

Here, Melvin's adoration of music is introduced, as we see him experiencing a transcendent moment listening to Frank Sinatra's "That's Life." You can tell it's Frank Sinatra's "That's Life" because I got the score online and reproduced it (almost faithfully) on the scroll of notation enveloping Mel. Beyond that, there are 13 other musical references and/or puns on this page.

How many can you spot?


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Cover me

Last week I took a break from generating farm-based music puns for my picturebook (Radiohen! The Guess Moo! Pjörk! Please! Kill me!) to work on a cover illustration for the catalogue of the upcoming graduation exhibition for my MA course. All the students who'll be featured in the exhibition were invited to create an original piece that captures the essence of course, and then everyone votes on which piece is best-suited to adorn the cover. Kind of a big deal. Just ask the student who drew last year's cover. Oh wait, you can't because you don't have a space phone that calls rocketships fueled by gold doubloons and publishing contracts.

Anyway, the above is what I came up with. I know, I know. It's a little abstruse. Allow me to unpack it for you: heedlessly leaping into a self-luminous picturebook will result in your being book-pooped out a wizard. Got that? No? Oh, well maybe that's why it didn't get picked.

I also created a little number for the back of the cover to act as a solemn warning for anyone irresponsible enough to leave their self-luminous wizard-pooping books lying around.

More like Man's Best FIEND! Haha! Aaaaahaha.


Ludwig van Beefhoven! Squeal Diamond! Baaaaaahhhhhdfinger!


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