Friday, May 15, 2009

Umbilical

I've missed doing Illustration Friday these past few weeks, but have still been sketching in my sketchbook, and have a couple of exciting projects on the go. The first is a comic for my friend Raisa about her adventures in pregnancy, which I'll hopefully be ready to post about soon (after it's revealed at the baby shower next weekend of course).

The other thing that's been consuming my time, a lot more of it, is getting all of the pieces ready for the portfolio website I've been working on for ages. This week I made major progress – two days of photo shoots with my friend Flora. We shot nine projects, using the really cool softbox tent that Flora originally bought for shooting wine bottles, and a couple of small strobes. I learned a lot, and the images turned out beautifully. Now I just have to get them all into the template I've built for the site. In the meantime, I thought I'd provide a sneak peak here of one of the projects:



Tess Letailleur, a very close family friend and super-talented poet, approached me about a year ago to ask if I'd create a title page illustration for a collection she was producing of her poems and those of family and friends. I was thrilled to be able to collaborate with her.

As the illustration took shape, we corresponded back and forth about the ideas behind the book and the drawing. She described the book's poems as sharing “a kind of common human experience.... a movement through life to a ripeness of sorts... a flowering.” The book evolves through sections focused on youth, seduction, experience, liminality, and ageing. In the illustration I focused on this life and growth, referencing the shape of an umbilical cord as well as veins and cells. It mixes the human and the plant-like, to create a living, moving, feeding, growing thing. It reaches up the page, evolving from seed to flower, supporting other paths and growth along the way. These ideas are expressed with such beauty and depth in the book, in the words of Tess and her community.

The book was typeset by Tess' husband Loic, and they had it printed exquisitely by Gasperau Press in Nova Scotia.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Waiting to here how it all went down??

YoonJu said...

What a great project! Your illustration is thoughtful and beautiful, Meg.

claire said...

Meg, that image is beautiful. I have such an emotional response to it. It's kinda haunting, but so is life sometimes, I guess.