An Excellent Visual Adventure

by Laughing Stock on February 6, 2010

Jamie HoganJamie Hogan, a Laughing Stock artist, just celebrated a Pub Day for her work in the book, Nest, Nook and Cranny. Illustrators are the observers, interpreters and “imaginators” of our visual worlds… the “king’s eyes” as it were. Here are a few snippets from her excellent visual adventure including her quest to reinvent “reality”:

Hooray! I got my box of Nest, Nook and Cranny books! O Happy Pub Day!Nest, Nook & Cranny

I worked feverishly a year ago on the illustrations for this book of poems by Susan Blackaby. About animal habitats, it was a delicious challenge to immerse myself in the wordplay and my own environment, my radar always on the look out for immediate reference.

The book is punctuated by spreads that define a particular habitat: desert, grassland, shoreline, wetland, and woodland. Except for desert, I could mine my own territory, more or less.

Since there is a beaver colony on Peaks Island, I thought I could do some direct research. However, they are elusive critters, leaving only their signature chiseled marks on downed trees. Probably why I drew this beaver leaving the picture frame in my first piece for the Wetland spread.

There are some things you just have to invent. I had to draw a bear and a hive, but couldn’t find very detailed reference. I drew a pattern, inverted and warped it, printed it out, and tore the edges, for that layered, papery quality of a hive. I combined the collage with the bear drawing.

It figures that reference often comes too late, but maybe it will be useful for another time, like this honeycomb I found in the snow yesterday.

Most of the illustrations are simple with plenty of white to give the poems their space:

Look who visited the low tide about 3 months after I finished my illustrations… And this morning I noticed this on a neighbor’s roof:

The author writes at the end, ” As a writer, I’m often asked where I get my ideas, and I usually say that I poke my nose out the front door. I suggest you do the same. If you stay on the lookout for quirky, curious, and remarkable things, you’ll soon discover them everywhere.” Jamie has certainly followed that path. Good creative advice for all.

See Jamie’s portfolio at Laughing Stock

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