Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chicken Licken take me to New York please!

This is my entry for the SCBWI Tomie dePaola Competition. I had a dilemma scanning a full sheet watercolour/ink work as when I went to do it I was warned that it could be damaged in the drum scanner. I was faced with the decision do I risk it and get a nice scan or opt to photograph it and not take the chance of damage. I chickened out (excuse the pun) and photographed the image so the original is much nicer than the entry (unfortunately). My intent was to do exactly as Tomie stipulated in the entry; something different to what has been done before. He says "I want to be surprised, excited and - VERY jealous that I didn't think of that way to illustrate it. I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I've never seen before!" Now I figured every style imagined has been done before so I would focus on concept. I spent some time planning a new inventive way to illustrate the story Chicken Licken giving thumbnails and brainstorming room to explore possibilities.

Chicken Licken / Chicken Little SCBWI Tomie dePaola Competition
Firstly I tried not to make the character too cute as who wants cute characters eaten by a fox. Instead I tried to make them more foolish, especially the small Chicken Licken. I came up with the old map idea and the story within a story. I wanted to illustrate not only the text but add my own interpretation of what could happen beyond the text. So here we see the cunning fox magnified in 2 areas plotting and scheming. The characters ignorance and panic lead them straight into danger. The fox switches the signs around and later watches as his unknowing prey head in the wrong direction. You can see on the map how much shorter the way the kingdom was before the fox’s intervention. I purposely made the writing on the fox’s sign “hand written in appearance compared to the others to illustrate his handiwork. Kids love to wander over an illustration and I think I gave a child plenty to discover in the illustration I chose.

I had a tremendous amount of fun creating it using a combination media I don’t usually mix. I got some use out of my newish Copic markers on this illustration. Most of the map is drawn with an old nib and ink and the tines done in Copics. I spent some time today looking though many other illustrator's interpretations for this competition and found there were little variation of what I would consider "have been done before" so God willing this will be my strength as this trip would mean a great deal to myself and my family right now. Wish me luck and if you pray - I welcome prayer as that is even better! :-)


Jarm Del Boccio said...

Kayleen, your drawing is fantastic! It reminds me of Tolkien's maps of Middle Earth. I will certainly pray that God will lead you to what is best for your family...I hope you win!! Looking forward to hearing the news...

Kayleen West - Children Writer/Illustrator said...

Thank you my friend. The cometition is pretty stiff but you never know.

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