One of the many responses I had to my blog post A Crisis of Confidence was a very thoughtful one from Daniel Benneworth-Gray. One of Daniel’s many insightful points was that one way of getting over my frustration would be to invite people to tweet a micro-story for me to illustrate.
Obviously, the first person I asked was Daniel, and he didn’t disappoint…
Working to someone else’s idea was liberating, and challenging. Luckily for me Mr Benneworth-Gray’s words are always damn fine and well considered, which made my job of illustrating so much easier.
As soon as I read the tweet I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do. I had the idea of a normal family staring up at a huge giant robot, that was, in turn, staring right back at them. There was a definite ‘The Iron Man’ thing going on here (the book, not the film or the superhero).
The point Daniel made, about the fact that I hadn’t been illustrating – just drawing, was right. Interpreting somebody else’s words and ideas is a completely different challenge to just opening a sketchbook and making something up. It’s easier in some ways, and much harder in others. It is very worthwhile, and even if I don’t take this approach with all my future robots (110 to go), I’ll definitely give it a go from time to time, especially if I’m in a rut.
Huge thanks to Daniel for the idea, advice and encouragement. If you aren’t already following him on Twitter, or Instagram, I suggest you rectify that immediately. His blog is always a joy to read too.