Above is my the entry that I submitted to the BBC Radio 4 (2016) Stardust competition. The competition asked for an illustration to be used as the face of a new radio Stardust programme. I wanted to explore the ‘heart’ of this story this piece. After reading the book I felt that the key feature was the ‘search for the heart’s desire’. Each character from the book is after their heart’s desire in securing the star. I decided to have the characters from this book centered inside of a human hear (including their colour tone) – It also represents Yvaine’s heart, the heart of a star; the witch wants to eat her heart. Over all I wish I had more time to spend on perfecting the colours and character layout inside the heart. I spent a lot of time trying to get the concept to work with the theme of the story. I’m happy with the idea and parts of the final piece however I think I could have perfected it further.
I decided to enter this competition as it let me play around with the composition, explore colours and looking at how to tell a story in only one shot. It enabled me to play around with my creativity. In addition, I have worked for BBC Radio 4 before and it was a great way to stay connected. I would love to have another opportunity like this in the future.
Above are two colour experiments before the final test, I created a rough digital sketch to experiment with colour and effects. I really like the shine I added in these tests. I really wish I had added it to my final entry as it gives the pieces life. However I was worried at the time it would look too cluttered and messy.
This is a page of sketches I created to look at gestures and poses for how the characters could fit inside of the heart. I t was an exploration of the character designs for this piece also.
Above I am experimenting with the layout of my idea – It was difficult to fit the characters in with out deforming the characters a little. It took some time to finally figure out how it was all to fit into the human heart. Surrounding the heart are small birds I watercolor – as I wanted the mother (from Stardust) to appear as her bird self – I am playing around with colours.
Here is another defined early concept sketch of the characters inside the human heart. I am happy with how this all fits. It served as a reference when creating the final piece,
This is another concept of an idea that didn’t get chosen for the final entry. This shot focuses on Yvaine being taken to Victoria. I wanted to experiment with the composition and narrative of one shot. I like the layout of this as it feels like the world is slanted (in this upside down reality). The faces of characters from the book are to appear on her cloak (look below). I like how mystic this shot is, it doesn’t give much away but leaves a lot of mystery behind where the string leads too. The characters on the clock presenting us with more a clue.
Another colour test from this shot – more earthy tones.
Above is the sketch of this idea. You can see in better detail the intended finished look. I wanted the characters that cross path with Yvaine to be presented on a clock, she is following Tristan (holding the string).
This is a very rough sketchy concept sheet for one of my ideas. It’s not that clear in the picture but the sky is a human heart and surrounding are characters from Stardust. I wanted them to create a heart in the sky. In the center is a shooting star. After playing around with the scene, colours and competition I didn’t feel like it was strong enough. However I still like the concept at did develop the inverted one for the final entry.
This is the digital sketch which shows the human heart a little more clearly. The characters will deform around the heart – the book it about the heart’s desire so this is why the human heart centers (connect to the darker themes of the witch wanting to eat Yvaine’s heart.)
After drawing out lots of ideas (in the thumb-nailing stage) I picked a few that were my favourite to explore further in more detail. These three ideas focus on the meeting of the lead characters of the book: Yvaine and Tristan. A rope ties them together and it’s during night – so she could shine. I wanted to experiment with the different cinematic shots and layout of the scene.
This is another page from my sketchbook. I created lots o thumbnails like above to play around with different ideas and explore as many different concepts as possible in a short time. This page is focusing on designs that capture the entire book. I have circles those that I like.
Above are thumbnail sketches of different ideas and scenes for the Stardust competition. These are very quick sketches that let me get initial ideas out onto the page and see what works and what doesn’t. These sketches are shots from the book and also symbolic scenes that try to capture the heart of the book.
These are a collection of quick ink sketches I made when playing around with ideas for the stardust competition. I like to use my sketchbook as a place to experiment ideas of characters and of the designs I could use. In the book Yvaine has a limp and I wanted to capture the scene of them walking together, around the circle different characters. However I decided that this was a little too simple. However I do like the look of the ink and water.
To get a fill of the ‘characters’ I created this small illustration of the star ‘Yvaine, in the scene where she thinks Tristan has left her, and is walking towards the wall (where she would dies if she passes it). It’s supposed to be very serious – I was playing around with this concept just getting it out of the system before designing. I hope for my final illustration to have more thought behind it – but I like this early design of Yvaine.
BBC Wind Knots and British Folklore (Entered into a competition)
We were entered into a competition by Ruth Nicholls (Ravensbourne Staff) for the best collaboration between a university and employer. We were asked to give a quote about our experiences on the project for BBC Radio 4 ‘British History in Weather’. This could help get our work seen and shows a positive experience – giving us opportunities for networking and winning a competition.