Maxine Lee

World Book Day

Posted by on Mar 06 2018

So World Book Day came and went this year and I haven’t done one WBD event. I would have but I had deadlines building up like fruit in a sweet shop. I started my MA in Illustration earlier this year so on top of a huge educational project, I’ve got those uni briefs too. And then we adopted a pupsicle. A sausage shaped pupper. 

Meet Benny Rocket. He lives up to his name.

Anyway, even though WBD has come and gone, I did a very quick reading-related warm-up sketch this morning – apart from that, my projects are all a bit top secret at the moment. I’ve opened up a section on here where you can find my R&E for my MA (if you’re that way inclined) and I’ll update you on my graphic novel adventures very soon. 

Different Illustration Style

Posted by on Dec 30 2017

I’m not a linear thinker and I’m more about dialogue and image than description. Writing descriptively feels uncomfortable, it’s not a good fit. The best engagement I can get is when a reader looks at something I’ve created and puts a different slant on it. That stimulates my mind and keeps me on my toes. A good way to do that is to attempt a wordless and laconic narrative illustration style.

Some of you know that I started my MA back in September, and it’s definitely encouraging me to try new and different things. Before I committed, I knew that the only way this would hold value for me was if I pushed myself in a different direction. But, because children’s publishing is where my heart is, that’s quite a difficult task.

I’ve enjoyed the research involved so far and it’s definitely produced a rabbit hole for me to get lost in. I found graphic novels down there thanks to my tutor, Kate. Until I started that research, my experience with illustrated books for grown-ups had been limited to Hellboy and Gemma Bovery (Posy Simmons), which follow a typical panel style. I love to read them, and the artists are crazy-talented, but I don’t feel compelled to create something in that style. 

A lot of the research I’ve been carrying out has been focused on dark and taboo issues within children’s books. Very far removed from what I do day-to-day. I tried to remove any opportunities for whimsy. I also made a conscious effort to not look at my close peers – the guys I interact with via social media or share an agent with. The next thing I did was like jumping off a cliff. I turned off my Cintiq and lined my ink bottles up. After lots of experimentation, I put another restraint on myself. No paintbrushes. The style of this illustration is informed by considerable research and I don’t want to write a lengthy post here. As soon as my research is graded, I’ll link it so you can read about that side of things, if that’s what floats your boat.

Here’s a piece I created for my MA ‘Prey’ 2017. Ink on paper

Colour Collective Dec 2017 #White. Digital

Christmas card, 2017.  Digital.