Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blue Print Revised

After a very inspiring and helpful discussion, I've come to see that I have so many options and decisions that I need to consider. The potential in this idea is great, but overwhelming and I would hate for the product to be a let down. The idea of doing a highly experimental book is very tempting, but I have the fear of producing something too gimmicky. However, done correctly, it could be something very new and different. Facing these decisions have been very challenging, but hopefully I've made the right ones...

Here are some character concept sketches... Nothing fancy yet, just trying to get a feel and look for what I want to do...

Here's Alice... just ignore the face on the top left. I gave Alice bangs, I think it makes her look cuter, but now she doesn't look like the Classic Alice from the original illustrations. Not that I mind that, just a side note. Right now I like the one on the lower left the best, though it may be too cartoon-ish. I'm a fan of the over-sized bows though.

Here are some Mad Hatter Sketches. So far I like the one on the very right the best, but I think it's a little/very inspired by a certain cartoon character or two from my childhood....

And here are some sketches I had done for the Red and White Queen in Through the Looking glass. Too bad I decided not to include that book anymore (probably). The Red Queen is the bird-like one on the left, and the White Queen is on the right (...and the girl in the middle looks a lot like Nicole from America's Next Top Again, I'm probably not going to use these, but I thought I would include them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Aha! So I solved the ribbon problem (yet again..)! Instead of constructing a four-ribbon jacob's ladder, that I'm not entirely sure will work... I went material shopping! Yay! I'm going to stick with the three ribbons, but I bought these sheer ribbons that you can sort of see through. There is also the option of using very thin lace, but I felt that was a bit much, and not as child-like. I also bought this really nice satin ribbon in that beautiful 'Alice blue'. You know what I'm talking about, that light sky blue... So nice! I'm still not sure what I'm going to use it for, maybe exteriour wrapping...

Again, the blue is only a connotation of Alice because the Disney classic (her dress)... but this time, I don't care. The colour just screams Alice to me :)

I also bought some fabric. I love wrapping my books in fabric, but I did that for the last book I made. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the fabric yet. I bought some white soft, but canvas-like fabric, as well as some cream-coloured fabric. I was thinking I could wrap the entire book in it, and tie it together with the ribbon? The last book I made had the fabric glued to the cover, so this could be different in that sense. Or, who knows. I might end up putting the book into an open tea pot, and just set that over the fabric. It doesn't really make sense, but that's the point.

As for the illustrations, I was thinking of putting them on a wood texture (via photoshop) to stay true to the jacob's ladder's original form.... or not, but it's an idea. I'm also thinking the paper should be white, to match the blue ribbon. I was originaly thinking cream, (because I do love cream paper) since the book is a classic, I thought that aged look would be appropriate, but not necessary.

OH. OR. I could glue/wrap the fabric around the block-casings, and illustrate on the fabric, AND then SEW the ribbons onto the fabric. That would solve my ribbon attachment problem, because I know that pH neutral glue stuff won't work. I wonder If I can print on fabric. Sounds like a fire hazard. Maybe I can get that iron-on stuff, but I wonder if that will look tacky. But how does one glue fabric to ...whatever material I'm going to use? I guess if I solve that, I solve the ribbon attachment problem (maybe), eliminating the need for the fabric. Hm. Curiouser and Curiouser.


Okay soo.. I know I wasn't suppose to... but I read the first Alice book. Aahh, I know, I know, such a inefficient use of time... but it's reading week... and come least I got something out of it. Robert Bringhurst would disapprove if i designed a book without reading the content (and reading it at 9 years old doesn't count)! He's right though, I wouldn't have gotten the feel of Carroll's writing if I only read chapter summaries online. "Alice went down a hole.", "She met a cheshire cat that disappeared bit by bit." Okay, those aren't real quotes, but you get the point! Plus, it always bugged me when I was little and the cover illustrations had little or nothing to do with the book or characters.

Also, I read the Annotated Alice (Notes on the book by Martin Gardner).... very interesting! I had no idea that Carroll was so witty. The whole book is bursting with so many puns, parodies and cultural references I had no idea about. He's like the SNL of his time. I also didn't know that Alice was based on a real girl, named Alice Liddell, that he wrote letters to, and played with etc...... which is a little creepy, even though Gardner said Carroll only had the purest affection for this girl (but it's still creepy). Apparently Alice's mother originally kept Alice away from Carroll... but only in the beginning, so he can't be all bad.

Okay, this is all getting very irrelevant, and I'm just starting to gossip, so I'll stop.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fighting Influences

The further I go into this... I'm starting to realize that I don't think I've ever watched Alice in Wonderland (Disney version). Or if i did, I only watched part of it and don't remember the rest. So here is the caterpillar scene; I only realize its brilliance now...

Who Are You?

I love it. The way they interpreted Carrolls writing, and the type that he blows when he's speaking... I'm excited to put that into a graphic illustration. Then again, I don't want to take too much inspiration from Disney, because I want this book to be my interpretation. However, there are some things that are just so charming about the Disney version.

I remember reading the book when I was 8 or 9, and not liking Alice because she seemed like such a little know it all, snot nose kid, who lost her temper too quickly and abused poor animals that were smaller than her.... and now that I'm reading it I find a lot of the creatures in wonderland are just very strange.... *cough*jerks*cough*. In the clip, I see that Alice is a more loveable, only gets angry in an adorable fashion. I really like this darker side Alice in Wonderland (it's not all just happy sunshine, and the characters are so mean to each other), but then again, I don't want it to resemble Tim Burton's upcoming movie... UGH We'll see how it goes

But how will it look?

So I've been very inspired by this japanese artist, Marumiyan. Since last year I've been wanting to integrate illustration into my design in a really cool and graphic way, but before I got very far pursuing this personal style... I found this guy (lol) who does it SO MUCH BETTER (sigh...). It's okay, I still want to do illustration, and I know I can't make anything that looks like his work... so hopefully his inspiration plus my abilities can help me further achieve what i'm hoping to develop... my own graphic style.

For now, here are some pictures of his truly amazing work. I probably won't do illustrations quite as complex. I would like to finish all my illustrations by the beginning of November. I'm going to start my first illustration today, hopefully. I need to set deadlines. Good god, I don't want to think about it.

Blue Print instructions

I forgot to post this!
....I went for an instruction manual feel.. and It somehow ended up an info graphic haha..

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flipping Instructions

Haha, by the way, if anyone doesn't know what a jacob's ladder is, below is a link that shows a rather amusing video... just shake your head and laugh boys and girls.


Also, I've been rethinking the book format, I wonder if I should stick to the idea of a story on either side... that only involves one flip to read the book.. OR.. maybe after you finish with one block, you flip it, to read the next sections...? That's probably too complicated... but it seems that one flip of the book doesn't make use of the format all that much......of course you could always just flip the book for fun...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Okay so here's something I didn't know, (maybe I should of, maybe I'm not well versed in my mental repertoire of classics buuuut...) Alice in Wonderland has a sequal...? It's called Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Plus, the first book is actually called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.. at least from what I gather. So, I think I have tentatively changed my idea to including both books into my final. Since parts of both the stories are combined into the movies/the Alice story we're famliar with, I think it's a nice idea to put the literary versions together.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Oh boy, I found a Jacob's ladder that doesn't have a ribbon going down the middle of the block.. this could help me solve the ribbons-getting-in-the-way-of everything problem....

Antique Toy