yue_ix: Chibi of Merlin with tentacle arms (Default)
Yue ([personal profile] yue_ix) wrote2011-04-29 01:09 pm

Podfic Big Bang (art) : Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love, read by sophinisba

Title: Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
Length: 1h30 min
Reader: [personal profile] sophinisba
Author: faviconnew_kate/[livejournal.com profile] new_kate
Cover Design: [personal profile] yue_ix
Story summary: "Modern AU. Arthur moves to a a different city to start a new life and become a new man. On a whim he decides to share a flat with an attractive stranger, and quickly gets drawn into Merlin's odd little world."

Art Content Notes: none

Artist Notes: There's a lot artistic-wise I'd like to say about this so this note will get ranty.

First, know that this is the children's book Arthur caught Merlin doodling. Extract from the fic:
[Merlin] was tooling about with pastel chalks, creating bizarre, overlapping magical landscapes on paper.

"I want to write and draw my own story some day. I don't have much yet, just a vague idea. It's probably a children's book. It's about this boy," he pointed at a little bright-haired speck, lost among the menacing floral shapes in the rich green darkness. "Or maybe it's a girl, I'm not sure. They travel to this place, well, all I really know is it has these evil flowers. And it's mostly blue."
I really liked this children's book concept image and how it ties with the story. It was also something tangible I could do as BB podfic art to feel the text from another angle, just like the reader was feeling it through their voice. After each of my readings of the text, I had wondered: "what happened with this book idea?" [personal profile] sophinisba's reading hooked me on it even more. It had to be tried.

Since this was going to be only colours, first thing was the find a colour theme. Sophinisba's voice is clear and with gentle curves, so things got gentled a bit from Merlin's initial idea, and since her voice is pretty warm to me, there was almost as much reds as there were blue in the mental feel I had of this. I liked to think that Merlin found more warmth than expected in his story.

Starting from there, I researched and settled on a colour scheme based on fired copper. Types like these C-E-G-J examples felt fitting, with how fire brings out vastly different colours and fuses them randomly but harmonically without loosing any of their brightness. It has a certain bruised, happy, wondrous quality to it that this text's reading had on me.

Then I went through a scavenge hunt through the flat for pastel chalks... but only found white. I chose to cheat and fake a certain chalk effect with crayons, charcoal and oil pastels instead, with generous contributions from my flatmate's art stash, which meant choosing a smaller canva too. Then I spent a couple afternoons layering colours while listening to the podfic's draft version and others from Sophinisba (podfics are just perfect things to listen to when drawing, for me) and basically getting smudged from fingertips to elbows with a detour to nose and brow. It was gloriously fun in that childish glee I get from working coloured traditional media with no mind to stains. ^____^


Full view as a book cover:

Uncropped full view:

I know this isn't what anyone might have expected for an illustration of this story; it's not even what *I* expected. There was a lot of moments I wanted to illustrate for this podfic, but what caught me in the end is the mood Sophinisba plunges us into. This was supposed to be part of something else, but things changed along the way; it grew into this, and I found I had nothing left to say. I can only hope others might like my take and that it shows at least some of the feelings I get from Sophinisba's beautiful interpretation.

Download as MP3 or M4B: here. Originally posted at [livejournal.com profile] podficbigbang. Please leave feedback to all contributors of this project. ^_^

This post closes my participation in this podfic Big Bang. My other projects were art: Castle, read by itachitachi and art: Sweeter Dreams, read by helva2260. Thank you to the readers for working with me, and to [personal profile] vensre, [personal profile] lunatique and the cheerleading gangs at [community profile] camelot_fleet and [livejournal.com profile] paperpusher chats for the encouragements.

[personal profile] new_kate 2011-05-19 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow, wow. This is incredible, I can't even properly say anything because there's no way I'll do this justice.

This is a perfect illustration to the story, just perfect. I'm amazed you picked up on that paragraph, which I expected most reader would think just a throwaway quirky detail, and you got just what I was trying to say and made it so powerful and beautiful. I love that it's a kind of urban setting, on the edge between reality and fantasy, one morphing into another, and how warm and bright it is, and how "evil flowers" probably aren't evil at all, and how the brave little traveller is frozen there in the middle of this splendour, maybe scared a little, maybe in awe, and how the road is brighter than the sky, and how everything is so fluid, gorgeous, glowing. And it's kind of Merlin's POV on the story, a glimpse into who he is, and, just, I'm going to be geeking out there in the corner.

I'm so impressed at your versatile styles. You're such a talented artist and I'm so happy and grateful my story in part inspired you to make this. Thank you so, so much!
sophinisba: Merlin smiling with forest background (ep. 1.04) (merlin smiling by miakun)

[personal profile] sophinisba 2011-05-19 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
This post is so awesome bb! I mean I had already seen and loved the art but I did not realize that you'd actually been listening to the podfic while you worked on it or that you'd taken as much inspiration from the podfic itself and not only the text. I love that you did that with itachitachi's podfic as well.

It really is cool that you decided to go with Merlin's drawing for this. I know initially both of us were thinking about the tattoos and I was also thinking about Merlin drawing Arthur, but I like what kate says about Merlin looking at this place with uncertainty and awe. Even though the fic is so much about Arthur, the parts I enjoyed reading the most were about Merlin and how much excitement he had about everything that was happening. I love that the story's about a boy or maybe about a girl, and it's about Arthur but maybe it's about Merlin, and all of that. To tell the truth though mostly I like the colors (and the little stars)!
brunettepet: (Default)

[personal profile] brunettepet 2011-06-07 08:17 pm (UTC)(link)
This is beautiful. I really like seeing the larger size and realizing the flowers aren't menacing at all. The color palette is lush and happy and there's a warmth to the drawing that mirrors the warmth of the story. It's a lovely piece.
marguerite_26: (Default)

[personal profile] marguerite_26 2011-06-16 11:32 pm (UTC)(link)
oh wow... you were right that it was not what I expected at all, but this is stunning.

I love the 'journey' feel of it and the fantasy, surrealism of it. really lovely.

lady_ganesh: Ageha giving the victory sign (ageha (RH plus))

[personal profile] lady_ganesh 2011-06-18 03:38 pm (UTC)(link)
That's fantastic!
dodificus: (Default)

[personal profile] dodificus 2011-06-24 08:36 am (UTC)(link)
This is some of the best cover art I've seen in ages, the colours, the style, the design, everything. It's brilliant:)
rane_ab: (Love wins)

[personal profile] rane_ab 2011-06-28 06:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I missed this earlier, but wow, this is gorgeous. I've had it open in a tab for a while, now, and I keep coming back to look at it.

I absolutely love the way you've coloured it, both the style and the colours you've chosen. I love how the colours are sort of bright and warm and intriguing - yet at the same time kind of dark and possibly threatening.

I love the lonely little figure in the middle and the way it's so obviously stretching up to look at the stars, with a sense of wonder, like it wants to reach for them, but can't quite manage it, still stuck in that darker corridor - but having advanced through it some. It's a great metaphor for Arthur's story and how he must overcome his fears to reach the light. (Or at least that's what it strikes me as. :))

It makes a beautiful storybook illustration, really. <3
rane_ab: (Arthur and Merlin Woods)

[personal profile] rane_ab 2012-09-25 10:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Hey! :) Sorry, this is a bit random, but I really love this illustration and would love to print it out and hang it on my wall. I was wondering what your feelings would be on that? If there's some price you'd like to put on it and that we can talk about? Or if you'd rather I didn't, I understand, too, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. :)
rane_ab: (Finger love)

Re: here be flailing

[personal profile] rane_ab 2012-09-29 04:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Adklskf, thank you so much! <333 And, oh, yay, having the HR file would be awesome! I actually quite like the crazy white borders, so that version please, if possible, if/when you find it. :D

Haha, um, I still owe you a h_h fic, too, so we're on even footing there. ^_^' /o\

I've been meaning to ask for ages about this illustration, so I'm really happy it's OK with both you and Sophinisba. *flails* Thank you both! :DDD