Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Enid Blyton goes URBAN!

July is always a month when I reflect back on the work that I've completed in the last year. It's probably because this is when I need to submit a spread or two for my agent, showcasing my best work from the last year for their catalogue. Some years this dilemma of choosing appropriately brilliant work to show off my skills is easy and other years it's not so obvious. 

It's a good opportunity to think what direction I'd like my illustration  work to go in and produce some portfolio pieces to reflect this. The work commissioned through my agent is predominantly for educational publishers producing text books. This is great and the work can be fun but I always try to push the boundaries a little in my folio pieces.

After watching "Attack the Block" and "Sket" recently, I thought it would be fun to design some characters that work like the "Famous Five" by Enid Blyton but with a modern edge. Instead of being middle class kids having adventures in sun kissed meadows of Sussex or similar why not design them as kids living on an imaginary estate in London or Birmingham dealing with more gritty and urban predicaments. Why does everything have to be sanitized and brimming with sugary falsities? Why can't characters come from the rougher spectrum in children's literature?

Anyway, I got to work and created these characters and cover mockup. I'm pretty pleased with them and took the opportunity to use some of my own wardrobe to dress them, not the pink puffer tho!

Below are two versions of the poster/book cover for this imaginary product. I used photo filters, something I rarely do to give it more of a gritty feel. Not sure which one I prefer.