With this little poster, made to encourage children to read, I wanted my characters to be carried away by a book, as if the book were flying. That’s all I started out with. I started where all artists should start, with sketches. At first I was thinking of the book flying away with the children, pulling them out of something. Water. Why not water. But after several sketches with water I was stuck with “why are the children drowning in water?” I didn’t like the idea of water and still I drew 8 sketches with it. Finally I thought of the book pulling us out of the earth, as if we are wallowing in a pit of despair without a good book to pull us up. That appealed to me better.
I had gathered photos from several places. I took a photo of a book on my own kitchen countertop, got a photo of a rope off a boat photo, got pictures of squirrels and grass. Much of the grass, I ended up painting myself in Photoshop, including the water drops. The roots were easy to find in a free stock image source as well as a tree. The girls are from photos I took years ago of children dancing to a live band at a farmer’s market. Putting it all together took some time but was great fun for me.
What do you think?