When I was six my father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This disease is not dramatic, it doesn’t immediately upend a person’s life. However as the years go by it takes more and more of the human body and spirit. While most people are aware of the physical disabilating effects MS has, they are less aware of the psychological. Watching my father suffer from MS was like always having some dark force on the edge of my vision that I couldn’t grasp or fight off. And growing up I always wanted to do or make something that would provide him with happiness, even if only for a moment.
Despite what my family thinks, I get my love of learning and creativity from my father. My earliest memories are of him reading both fiction and nonfiction books to me. That wanting to know more and to think critically about the things around me, lead me to build entire fantasy worlds within my head. And although I am older now, and don’t have the opportunity to read as much as I use to I still like to imagine stories to help cope with the stresses of everyday life. Usually my ideas for stories are sparked when I am driving and listening to music. The song will have a phrase that conveys a feeling or an idea that lingers in the back of my mind until it becomes a fully formed character that I then build up a world for.
My story is about a grim reaper having to protect a child of satan from demons and monsters. Growing up in a Catholic household I was fascinated by the mythology of the Christian religion. As a child I imagined fighting demons and monsters while playing with my toys. I chose to illustrate my story because I am inspired by comic book artists like Frank Miller and Kohei Horikoshi to not just think of a world, but to build it using drawings. I rely heavily upon knowing how to foreshorten the body limbs, using lines to create a flow of movement, and dramatic uses of tone to set a mood. Also the need to craft compelling dialogue is necessary to connect my readers to my characters. The story, while having a good deal of action, will focus on being driven by characters and their interactions. Because at the core, this story is about battling my deepest fears and the fears of many people amongst my generation. Fear of an unknown future, of past failures, and the constant feeling of never being good enough.
The materials I select for my work are the computer, however I always start with the tried and true pencil and paper. I will sketch the setting and characters with pencil on bristol paper, then add pen for basic outlines and cross hatching, and finally I will scan the pieces in and add tone using digital painting in Photoshop. After I am satisfied with how it looks I will print it out several times while adjusting the levels of darks and lights to get the best quality print.
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© 2019 Emily Bond, All Rights Reserved
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19 July 2022
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Pen and Paper