Book of Beasts Begins

Book of Beasts will be a sumptuously illustrated, 300-page graphic novel adventure. It follows the journey of Poppy; lost, distracted and afraid. A chance encounter with an animal tracker pulls her deep into the Wild where she comes face to face with the mysteries of the more-than-human world. Yet this is not a story of some faraway land; set in the scruffy woods behind the estate, this is an adventure into the senses, courageous opening of hearts and experiencing a deep sense of wonder in the most unexpected of places.

This is my first major solo work continuing my Master's degree study and I am very excited to bring my whole self to this project.

On a technical level, I am looking forward to getting back to the roots, using only a pencil, but informed by twenty years of experience mastering animation, lighting, material and lens effects in high-end computer generated imagery.

For example, a key premise of the story is about awakening our senses and I am excited by the opportunity to illustrate synaesthetic effects like sounds and smells, as well as using depth of field to focus attention. I am also looking forward to experimenting with breaking out from the conventional picture boxes of graphic novels, playing with new ways to depict motion and the passage of time.

On a personal level, up until now, I feel my portfolio has reached a solid level of creative ideas and technical fluency, however none of it expresses my full capacity for integration, depth, meaning, honesty of emotion or my reverence for the Natural World. Working to a commercial brief for many years has inevitably narrowed my scope and I see Book of Beasts as the opportunity to bring together all my skills, experience, philosophies and ecological activism into one project.