Monday, March 19, 2012

The Living Cemetery - Instigatorzine

The ever supportive Narciso gave me the opportunity to make an illustration for a piece of poetry in his zine, Instigatorzine. The poem is "The Living Cemetery" by Anthony Ward.

This was a challenging project because of the amount of imagery in the poem. Given the abundance of images provided by the author, it was hard to decide exactly which ones would convey the overall feel of it. I ended up picking a few separated verses that could be related to each other.

What I gathered in a nutshell is:
-The people in the city are free to leave but they don't, or can't, because they (psychologically? emotionally?) trap themselves within it, like a vicious cycle. So, the bounds on their legs are wide enough that they could easily slip through, yet they don't. 
-They remain anonymous to each other. Hence, no faces.
-Their fall is "made all the more prominent by [their] height." I took this literally and elongated their limbs, which also makes them frail and flimsy-looking, which is how I had already imagined these people.

For the colors, I wanted something drab, depressing and almost disgusting. The military green dulled the mood, and the rusty/coppery orange added a punch of brightness to balance out the dull. I definitely find these two colours together disgusting, but that works, because every time I look at it, it reminds me of the depressing mood of the poem.

Lately I've also been steadily experimenting with not having outlines everywhere all the time. I have a penchant for heavy outlines and defined contours, but on the other hand, I also love that printmaking look of a shape without line work. I've found it tends to balance my work out, such as in this piece.

[EDIT] As commenter Jade kindly reminded me, the wide open space in the middle is supposed to be for the poem!


  1. I think that you were spot-on with these colors and I must say, Tati, although I hadn't seen a lot of your work before now, I definitely think that your work has improved - even after you've graduated! I always look forward to your posts and the other graduates' posts to see more of you guys' work. C:

    1. Yesss, thank you, thank you! There's always room for improvement, and that's exactly what I'm aiming for! Especially since it's now all up to me to grab a pencil and work, instead of just sitting around waiting for the next assignment from the professors. It's really sad too, because A LOT of people stop making artwork after graduation, and I absolutely do not want to be one of those people.

      To answer to your other comment, yes, that negative space is where the poem goes in the magazine, I forgot to mention that, so thanks for reminding me! :)

  2. Oh and I imagine that the title of the poem or something like that would be in the negative space up there?