Monoprints I made last week at The Atelier Merdian. An interesting process of mixing inks onto a plexiglass plate then transferring to paper.
Currently making a good amount of progress on the graphic novel, Two Machines. Spent the last several weeks embellishing the panels and now just solidifying the cover art and hoping to add some more descriptive narrative to the story. A calendar plotting my progress has definitely come in quite handy. The above image shows the line drawing to the initial watercolor paint base. A few more layers, then some digital manipulation. Once this is completed it is time to move on to new things.
# Wacom cintiq 12wx
Above is the short film, Valentine, which is an attempt to convey a sense of desire and loss. I filmed this in New York in 2011.
Over the past few weeks I have been working intermittently on my graphic novel Two Machines. The original story began in 1997 on the way home to the States after living for a month in Aix-En Provence, France. The story started as I began drawing the books first panels on the airplane ride home. Many years later, I completed the hand-colored graphic novel using watercolors, pastels, and pen and ink as a medium. Looking at it now, I see a multitude of things I would change or do differently. However, I am attempting to stay true to the original idea, to keep it fresh as it was then. Additionally, I have too many other ideas I want to explore that are more valid to me at this point.
As time passes, one’s ideas of beauty and art changes dramatically. In my case, I value the simplification of line and color. When I look at the book now, the quality of the work still lacks the graphic punch that it needs to be worthy of a publisher to look at. I have been methodically going through each page in photoshop with the Wacom Cintiq 12WX tablet. Each panel is being embellished by adding stronger contrast to the original work, while retaining it’s integrity. While it is an improvement, the reality is that it still has a way to go. I spent a solid 6 hours last week on 8 pages, simply adding to what was already there. At times I feel as if I am merely dressing up a window. This can be discouraging, but immersing oneself entirely in the project once again adds new life and vigor to the work.
The plan is that is will have a much more cohesive look to it, as the continuity is important to the story. While changes of style and medium are prevalent, I want to make it less jarring for the reader. This is one of a few projects I hope to finish by this year, and put out into the world. This graphic novel also served as an inspiration to the short film Sister Vengeance, which I shot in New York last year, and I am still editing.
With both of these projects, being so personal and precious to me, I keep striving for this ideal of perfection. What I have learned from all this is that nothing is perfect. There will always be some inherent flaw, and one must come to terms with that. In a way, those thoughts are liberating. I do not see this an an excuse to create sub-par work, quite the contrary. The medium defines ones ability to accurately depict their vision and make it manifest on the page or canvas. Another aspect of creating anything is to give yourself a bit of time to take step back from the work and give it a few days (or weeks) to allow other ideas to germinate. I find it good to look at a project again, more objectively as time has passed.
I am wary of seeking too much criticism at the beginning of any project, as my belief is that you should first focus and complete the work, or make a sizable dent before showing it to others. Getting criticism and commentary from the ouside work is essential, yet should never dictate the final product. I had one person suggest I should re-do the entire book, and make an oil painting for each panel. If I took that advice, I would be working on this for the next ten years. While it was a good suggestion, it was not realistic for me to do that, nor did I want to invest my life in one singular project.
Criticism can be good, if you try not to involve your emotions in what is being said. It is there to make your work better. Criticism is also based on the viewers own personal concept of aesthetics, which may differ greatly for your own. That being said, one must stay true to their vision without compromise, and make adjustments and changes as necessary that make the work resonate.
Photos I took while hiking last weekend near Forest Park in Oregon. My friend said to me that she felt the presence of the divine here, as the sun passed through the trees, casting rays onto the ground. Nature is truly an endless source of fascination and beauty for me. One of the many reasons why I came to this place — to explore it’s wild forests and stunning coastlines. Being in nature one loses themselves, everything is authentically real here. There are no lies in nature. No agendas, no walls, nor admission fees. Nature is the closest thing one can come to understanding any semblance of truth.
Working on some new drawings, attempting to simplify the composition, and focus on the line work.
Photos I took backstage and during the runway show of one of the most interesting designers, Naeem Khan.
View the images in the gallery below.
See more of my work during New York fashion week at Modern Glossy.
Image from a recent photo shoot with Blue. I am currently working on a short film loosely based on my graphic novel, Two Machines. This film will focus on the revenge of three female assassins who take revenge on a rival gang, and their unscrupulous leader who has possession of a very dangerous technology that will change the future of humanity. The title is tentatively called Sister Vengeance.
Panels from the forthcoming Two Machines • © Stevyn Llewellyn