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From Sketch, to Fetch*!

*By 'fetch' I do mean in the 2004 hit movie Mean Girls sense of word meaning fantastic and not the one you would do with a dog.

So, part of this blogs mission is to be a bit of a showcase for latest pieces of work. It's hard as my main site (which you should go look at) is very much portfolio focused. My plan will be to give work a bit of space here before I decide if it's allowed to graduate to the main stage so to speak. This is actually good as it forces me to critique my work a bit, a practice that's helpful but I've long stopped doing after college.

Also, the ''sketch part of this blog is missing. This is annoying, I actually lost the sketch book it was in along with a lot of other important notes. If you have it I will give you chocolate for it.

So I originally decided I wanted to do this poster over a year ago now. It was completely self-initiated so it kept having to take a back seat behind commissioned work. I tried to do a big push to complete it before Christmas as I though it would be a good gift but unfortunately I had loads of stuff to get on with, as does everyone around that time of year.

The idea came as I was inspired by Info Rama and there amazingly innovative pieces. They are so clever, unique and I loved how they could get a very complex set of facts looking as gorgeous as a poster design. I wanted to have a go!

I don't know why I decided on Toy Story but I thought it would be good given the complex series of characters. I thought I could order them in terms of when they where given, and thus became part, of Andy's Toy Box. It had a nice symmetry to the idea as with Woody being the oldest toy and probably a family heirloom he would be at the bottom, while Buzz Lightyear, the other lead charcter would be at the top. This also complimented the films themes of being replaced so I set about making the image.

The first tricky part was to actually get a definitive list of toys together from the film. There are a lot that you just forget about so I watched the film again (great excuse) and looked through any internet entries on the subject. Wikipedia ain't all bad!

Next I composed them into what I felt was an accurate map of when Andy might of got the Toys. This is largely guess work but it was nice to play with how the shapes could build on each other. This was just a very rough sketch and once I knew my initial shape I could get drawing.

This took, without being dramatic, AGES!!! I know people who haven't tried using a computer in their art think it's a quicker medium I think this is only a half-truth. Yes you can quickly erase your mistakes and you can move your drawing with a lot more freedom. But in terms of the computer doing any of the heavy lifting for you, it just doesn't have the ability to understand what you aesthetically want. So, much like a traditional medium, I get my tablet out and hand draw them all on to that. It was very long but it was also really fun to make the odd toys that I hadn't really noticed before such as the Toddle Tots and the Troll made me laugh no end (I know I'm far to easily amused).

I added some graphics to make it more informative so it's really emulating the Info Rama work that I love. I am really pleased with it and it's always great to see things that have taken so long being finally finished. I think 'Lenny' and the 'Toy Soldiers' are my favourite.

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