WHY THIS STORY?
Choosing a story for this project wasn’t that easy. I am a very emotional person and I love to go deep into my heart when I create something and therefore when I have the opportunity of an open subject like this, I like to make it personal. I was searching for the perfect story to match with me. I wasn’t looking for something easy or difficult. I just wanted to be something I would be passionate about. I started searching for greek stories or trying to remember what I was reading when I was a child. I had a few stories in my mind but it wasn’t enough. Then I remembered some animated movies I was watching. Films based on great stories like The little mermaid but not in the usual happy ending versions. Everything was so sad. My sister hated those, even now she says they are creepy. But for me, as a child, it was beautiful. Even the music was nice for me. One of these stories was The little snowgirl. One of the saddest stories ever. There are so many versions of this story. I had such a strong connection with this story. And it felt right. So I chose this one for my book project.
I have a dark sad style of drawing. And for this book, I got inspiration from Tim Burton. I don’t only try to create something for the eyes, but for the heart too. Mostly for the heart. And one thing Tim Burton’s films has taught me is that. There is a beautiful meaning in every story, in every song, in every character. The themes are love, friendship, life, death, all strong feelings. And that’s what it’s all about.
In my illustrations I used some parts of Burtons style. In some you can clearly see it on a face, the expression, the ground, the dark colors, the stripes in some characters clothes but you can also see it on the storys selection. Tragedy. It’s a tragic, dramatic story. It’s sad, it makes you cry.
The main characters are the grandpa, the grandma and the snowgirl. The old couple appears to be happy but the truth is they are not because they didn’t have children. When the child appears they are happy but in the end they are devastated again. The child has almost always a sad expression in her face. She’s made of snow and when the snow melts she’s unhappy. She doesn’t belong there. When the children make fun of her, because she wouldn’t jump the fire, she jumps anyway because she wanted to be like everyone else. Her death is a tragic event. But she becomes a cloud and then the rain makes daisies grow. In this way she will remain with the old couple forever. She’s the tragic character in this story. Her face turns from happy to sad and in pain.
During this class I noticed that my drawing skills have become better, something I’m really happy about. All this times I was trying to draw the same expression, the same figure in different positions, and through research and watching tutorials and pictures and movies, I can see the change. This class also made me love what I’m doing even more. There are moments I wanted to give up, to throw everything out the window but then I remembered why I was loving this. I know next time it will be better and I know there will be a next time because I really liked this whole process. I feel more confident now and I’m happy with what I achieved even if the printed book won’t be that nice. But I’m still learning, I made mistakes, I learned from them, next time will be better.
I’m really glad I chose this class. It was the first time I illustrated a story and printed a book. Even if I’m not really happy about the outcome at least I know I worked hard for this and for me the outcome or a grade doesn’t matter as much as the experience and the lesson you’ve learned does.
I was surprised with myself when I chose this class. Not because I joined but the reason I did. One of things I wanna learn the most and I wanna do in the future is being an animator. I want to know all about it. Character designing, storyboarding, concept artist. I want to do these things. And the reason I joined this class was because I could practice this. Storyboard, characters, illustration. I found it here and I’m so grateful.
Some people, parents, may find this story or the illustrations inappropriate for children. But that depends on the way people deal with life and how they think and see things. The story itself it’s both realistic and fictional. But even the most fictional parts of a book or a movie are based in reality. Children would look at a book in different stages of their lives. When you’re too young to read, your parents read to you. They only thing you take from that is just the expression on their faces, their voices, and the illustrations which you probably not understand. Maybe unconsciously you understand more than you think though. When you grow up a bit, you read it by yourself you see the pictures in a different way. Then you grow up more and you read the same text, you see the same illustrations but all in a different way. Experience, imagination, thoughts, they all come from life.
I believe that there is nothing wrong in introducing a child to death, tragedy or sadness. Because all of them are part of life. Even if they won’t understand it at that point, at least there will be something familiar inside them and they will be ready for later on. In fact I believe it would be wrong if we only allowed to children to engage with only happy fairytales and happy endings.
I am 20 years old but I really love to watch movies that I was watching when I was a child or reading books I was reading back then. And I will continue doing that. And every single time is different. I have knowledge of things I didn’t know before, I’ve seen and heard things I hadn’t seen or heard before, I have experience I didn’t have. My eyes have changed, they don’t see in the same way. My heart has changed, it doesn’t beat in the same way. So, my point is that you are never too old or too young for something, such as a tragic, sad story.