Friday, June 18, 2010

Sabriel Posts & the "God Molecule"

Hey guys! Wow, I've gotten a bunch of comments on my most recent Sabriel post! Thank you, I really appreciate all your thoughts and support--as I've said before, none of us at the Picture Book Report are getting paid for our work on this project, so hearing from you guys really makes it all worthwhile. I got a request to make it easier to find all the other Sabriel posts, so now if you scroll down the column on the right side of the page, you will find a section named "Labels" with a handy link to all the Sabriel posts! (I'm considering labeling all my other posts too, for easy browsing)

Okay! So it's way past time for me to get back to posting weekly pieces, right? The past month of so I was in a bit of a slump--feeling creatively burned out, wondering where my illustration/life/future is going, and having some mild health problems that just sort of added to the bad vibes. It seems common in creative-types to cycle between these on-and-off times. Resting and focusing on non-art pursuits (cooking! exercise! reading!) seems to have done the trick and I'm feeling better now and ready to go!

So, to put you in a good mood for the weekend, here's 2 spreads that accompanied an article about dying! ;P It was actually a pretty cool assignment from Tom Kachadurian, a great AD at Spirituality and Health magazine. The article talked about the use of a psychedelic drug, nicknamed the "God Molecule", to help people with terminal illnesses deal with their eventual death. Apparently the drug induces a hallucinogenic state where you feel totally at one with the universe and a higher power, as if you had died already, so the participants don't feel as scared of actual death anymore. Tom wanted to go for a swirly psychedelic look without getting too much of a 60's/70's vibe, and I wanted something calming and epic for such an intense experience.

My thoughts went to a galactic-type the participant is floating through the universe. It was a double-page spread, so I tried some different views with rich blues, whites and red/oranges (that I ended up combining in the end). I also tried an overlay of the human nervous system (approximate, at least), but Tom thought it looked a little too scary and skeletal.

I tried both a closeup and expanded view. With the expanded you get more of the calming, floating feel because you can see more of the body. I kind of like the head sketch on its own, but it does feel a more creepy than calming!

So, we end up with a space-goddess, with some swirling energy and a burst of enlightenment! I remember watching an X-files episode with aliens in it while working on this assignment. I wonder if there was some subliminal influence... Swirly marks come really easily to me, but once I go crazy with them I have refine a bit to ensure there isn't a distracting amount of swirls or strands or colors! I tried to go for a more watery look, like ripples and eddies of energy.

In addition to doing the space-goddess spread, I also did some edging on the following two pages. I actually really like the spread I created for these pages, it's simple but I spent a while balancing everything.

I hope you like 'em! Thanks to Tom Kachadurian at Spirituality & Health!


Andy Christofi Illustration said...

Beautiful work! This is exactly the kind of stuff I would love to do once I've finished uni!

Cam Floyd said...

Ooo wee Kali this is beautiful! The head shot has some great textures and I really like how simple yet informed you made the face. Did you use any figure ref for it?

Anonymous said...

Haunting, amazing stuff. I love how the final layout plays to your illustration. I also really like the nervous system version. Love it!

Art Trip said...

Wonderful images. Thanks for posting!