This project is now a complete portfolio of pen, brush and ink, with digital color. The set at this time includes 24 illustrations. Once the text has been developed, we will have a new picture book. Six of the finished color images precede a different group of original black and white drawings. I want to show something of the process without being repetitive. The entire portfolio is now in color.
The SaltMarsh is my second animated short. It is a work in progress, between assignments. The backgrounds shown here are first composed in storyboard form. The boards have enough detail to serve as a decent shot layout. From there I work on rough, cold press watercolor paper. I produce a black and white tonal painting with Japanese stick ink and traditional brushes. Next, I scan the painting on a large, high quality flatbed scanner. The painting is digitally colored, and eventually composited using a virtual After Effects camera.
This was a very interesting design project. The animation had to illustrate a story from ancient Korean folklore, and at the same time be connected to a modern drama. The film director, Angela Park, had a logical idea of progression in the animation look, but the starting point needed a delicate touch.
Amos Tutuola is about as unique a storyteller as the modern world has known. His creations are unimaginable, yet he did thus. I have done several preliminary versions of these drawings. This is a small sampling. One day I plan to illustrate a complete portfolio of this tale.
Like a lot of people in America, my first exposure to any concept of Bush of Ghosts was the joint project by the same name between Brian Eno and David Byrne. This was one of the first albums to use sampling as we understand it today. I was curious about the source of their inspiration and eventually found a copy of Tutuola’s book. It is a hallucinatory experience with roots in ancient beliefs of the Yoruba people. I don’t know what impact western culture played on Tutuola’s convictions and beliefs, but what manifested from this collision is probably quite beyond what is germane to either western Nigeria, or especially England, the fading colonial power of his childhood.