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Introducing the Inkling! Part 01
Read on as I share a bit about the process of creating my picture book, When the Moon Disappears, last year!
It’s been a whole year since completing my MA in Illustration at the Edinburgh College of Art (???!) and with spooky season around the corner, I felt it was finally time to elaborate a bit further on the main project I focused on throughout the course of my MA.
Shy Beginnings 🍂
The reason I felt that the timing to share the process of creating this story was right, was essentially because it was about this time that the very first sketch of one of the main characters was conceived. It was a blustery Autumn afternoon in Bruntsfield Links, as I sat and watched communities socialising post-covid. I hadn’t seen so much bustle in a very long time, and I was partly so glad that I was surrounded by groups taking part in outdoor activities again BUT (and this is a very important but) … I was still so scared and anxious about people and socialising.
It was at this moment that this shy little creature appeared behind a tree I was sitting across. It was terrified of making its presence known, for fear of anyone approaching, even though it longed for a friend. It was an anxious, kind, and gentle little thing, who felt incredibly misunderstood due to its somewhat scary appearance. But it had no problems befriending the crows in the park, who too sometimes felt rather misjudged.
Scary or Misunderstood? 🖤
No one really knew why the Inkling looked the way it did - not even It, itself. What it actually was, was an abstract figment, absorbing all the negative feelings of grief, loneliness, and sadness. It was a lonely being, who without knowing, lightened people’s darkness.
To a certain extent, It was a form of unknown emotional therapy - absorbing the negative energy to alleviate others from it - but for how long could It do so before feeling ‘overloaded’ itself?
I’ve included some sketches below from the initial character design. I think that this is where I’ll end this first part. There is quite a lot to unpack but who doesn’t enjoy an origin story eh? ✨ This character has very strong ties with nature, an aspect I bounced off of myself, so I ventured into exploring the media nature provided, which at the time were so so many lovely leaves.
You can view some more from this sketchbook on my website
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