The trillium flowers used to be everywhere on hikes in the Seattle area and I still feel lucky when I find them. I was always told that when you pick them the trillium died – finito – all done! That’s really only true for the young trilliums but the forests
Some of the early sketches for Robin Redbreast.
I like drawing the Yeti’s eye. I spent a lot of time drawing Orangutangs and Gorillas to be able to better draw the Yeti’s gestures. I fell in love with drawing their eyes and am constantly trying to get that to translate to my drawings of the Yeti in Wiltworthy.
Looking for inspiration for some character design, I spent some time working from photos of guardian statues from Indonesia and Sri Lanka. I think this one is smiling a little more than some of the statues he is based upon. The more I have sketched them, the more they are endeared to me. Their expressions often seem caught halfway between a daunting glare and a big smile. I can see them breaking face and saying, “I’m just messing with you, don’t be so uptight!”
One of the earlier drawings of the woodsman. He’s quite a bit more strapping here than he would eventually end up. As he started to actually fit into the story it became clear that there was no real place for so much swagger.
The kids were still very little at this stage and I realized there was so much for them to do and, because the story is about Makerism, there was so much they would be required to make. I realized the characters had to grow up and be older before their adventure could begin. I recall listening to Kazu Kibuishi talk about the pressures by agents and publishers to nail down the age of his characters to exactly ten years old in order to hit the fourth grade reading demographic, but he always thought of his characters as 12 to 14. I think there will be something along those lines in my mind as I keep moving forward with this. Here, Walt and Val look like my own kids from a few years back but as I draw Walt and Val nowadays they do not look like my kids at all; they have become themselves.
Jude & I would go for walks and tell stories about Otterboy. We used to see him all sorts of places as we were out. His head would pop up out of the Bothell Slough while we were walking along the banks. I don’t think I get to tell stories on Wiltworthy about Otterboy for a little while, but he has been following my son and me around in our thoughts and deeds for sometime and I’m sure he will surface sooner rather than later.
Otto has been making appearances in my sketchbooks for a long time. Maybe twenty years, maybe more. I have always loved the industrial speakers that you used to get to hang on your car window when you went to a drive-in theater. Many of the drive-ins around Seattle like Puget Park, the Thunderbird or, my favorite, the Samish Twin in Bellingham had these speakers that looked like they could be a robot.
Because in my mind I always wanted Otto to be a librarian even before I had a job for him, I used to try and give him an owl-like appearance, although I love the speaker grill face the best of all.
It’s nice to see Otto pop up in the panels of Galactopera at last. I think his journey is going to be fun.