Strange Days: A Junior Narrative Illustration by Juan Nava (2013)
The name of the piece is called Strange Days. The assignment was to try and illustrate a scene from a story we have already created. I used a stanza from my poem as a scene. ''time an ever lengthening wire wraps itself around pillow thoughts and imagination. Rolling cats and dogs, ants and eagles ugly in one of Earth's many layers. I see shapes like hanging ghosts. Who's afraid to talk?''. I tried to incorporate each of the parts of the stanza into the illustration. Time an ever lengthening wire is the barbed wire that surrounds my head to the right, and for the animals, there is a dog, cat, and eagle coming out of my head, while ants crawl up my clothes. I made the picture in Illustrator. I used a gradient for the background because it was incredibly hard to find a single color that contrasted with both the yellow and reds for the fire (left) side and the black lines of the barbed wire (right) side. I tried to use a variety of colors in the fire gradients to make the picture more interesting and to make the colors in the fire create a subtle gradient itself. I left a lot of open space in the direct center of the image (the face) because the rest of the illustration has a lot of action already. I used the design elements of alignment and proximity when creating the circle around my head. I used Illustrators guides to approximate where the circle's top and bottom, left and right should be in comparison to the face while also using the transform tool to widen or narrow out the flames barbed wire sections so that the thickness of the circle was the same on either side. Changing the thickness and using guides ensured the circle was not too close to the face (proximity). Lastly, the animals emerging from my head are mostly on the right side for balance because the flames on the left side are larger than the barbed wire sections on the right side.