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Another Step in Life Illustration: A Junior Design Students - Narrative Character by Bija Haxhicani (2019)

A short story I wrote in English, ‘Another Step in Life’ is about a young man named Malu who ventures off into the Big Apple, New York, from his small hometown in Greece for an architecture assignment. Through exploration, Malu is guided by his inner curiosity of the city’s urban display of various forms of art. Suddenly, Malu finds himself in an unknown area that most locals avoid, where he is beaten roughly by a gang of men who mistakenly accuse him of being part of the law enforcement. The beating is interrupted by a heroic police woman and her fellow officers who help save Malu and arrest the suspects. It was through this experience that, Malu discovers that the next step for him, is to embrace all parts of life. The scene illustrated represents how Malu felt tied between old memories of Greece and making new ones in New York. I selected an elephant's front legs because elephants carry the personality trait of openness. I chose to use a lion’s back legs to represent courage. The dog head was to represent my character being outgoing. The butterfly wings showcase grace in my characters presence constantly being around various types of people and places. The fish tail is to connect to a personal memory I had with the movie ‘Finding Nemo’ with how driven and brave the main character had been to find his son. It is these characteristics above, that shaped Malu’s character to navigate and step into life.

When first sketching out ideas, I wanted to incorporate Malu’s emotions with feeling courageous such as skydiving and his hesitation with continuing to reminisce on his beloved Greece. I thought that with Adobe Illustrator, it was important to include the beautiful, clear, blue sea and Greek land my character cherished deeply, while also having New York city be off in the distance. This would help demonstrate Malu’s thought process and yearning for his country versus this new territory. Having the character sky dive off a plane emphasized the importance of courage in both the story itself and this scene. With the help of Adobe Photoshop in the character process, I attempted to implement various animals that represented the characteristics I envisioned my character’s qualities. From an important physical feature from each animal, I meshed them all together and traced them later with Adobe Illustration. Related website
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