JD Glass is one of those people who has been kind of in my internet periphery for a while now. A recognized name that pops up on various social networks when we happen to run across each other. “Oh, hey, yeah, I know her in an online sort of way.”
Well, we’ve recently come across each other on Facebook. We plod along doing the Facebooky things, except JD starts posting brief little excerpts from the book she’s in the midst of writing. Now, I love that kind of thing (see title of this post – “process junkie”) and was enjoying each and every snippet she threw to the masses. Then, one day, JD posted this:
I glanced about, and could see the beauty she felt, caught its magic from the air around us. “Look at the snow as it comes down through the lights,” I said, joining her world. “It’s like being in a storm of stars.” — Glass Lions, JD Glass
Those words stopped me dead in my tracks. I loved them, even out of context. The imagery floored me and kicked my brain into overdrive. Now, I am not always so easily swayed by words. They really have to be something to make me want to get involved. But those words? They killed me. I had to – HAD TO - draw the image they drew in my head.
I simply could have done my thing and have JD be none-the-wiser, but I have a thing about respecting other creators and their work. How do I say “Hey, I wanna draw your words” in such a way that it doesn’t sound creepy or weird? Especially when it’s to someone I don’t actually know? So I posted “I like what you wrote” or something equally dorky and year-bookish while I figured it out.
Lucky for me JD was thinking the same thing. “Hey, you know Kris, I’m betting that’s something you’d make vividly/visually gorgeous.”
And off I ran.
The initial sketch. Red pencil on yellow post-it. Blinding! You can se that I had originally intended to incorporate the text into the artwork, to make it look like a poster. I abandoned that pretty quickly because I felt that it detracted from the image.
JD was kind enough to give me some character descriptions so I was true to who is in this moment.
Underdrawing for the final artwork. I even researched buildings and streetlights in Greenwich Village. I had a feeling JD would have kicked my ass if it looked like anywhere except New York. The perspective is not accurate, but I can live with it. I’m surprised I handled it as well as I did. Nearly broke my brain trying to get this view down.
Final drawing. I will admit to this being one of my favorite drawings I’ve ever done. It’s a rare one where the final piece exceeds what I pictured in my head. But as a reflection of JD’s words it was not working. It needed the text in there. But how?
Why, give it another panel, of course! One of the first thoughts I had for the main drawing was to have the falling snow be stars, but my good taste filter kicked in and stopped that before my pencil hit the page. I still liked the idea of stars falling like snow and piling up. So I used that image in the text artwork.
The text artwork final. Pointy! I set the text in my font of choice for the moment, Hypewriter, but may revise at some point with my own hand lettering.
And finally. Like peanut butter and chocolate.
Many thanks for JD for letting me play in her world for a bit.