Getting started, part two (music and comics)

I thought I’d start to put down some ideas about things I like and potential styles and inspirations for designing the site. Sorry if this post is a bit wooly, but I wanted to just get some ideas down to start me off.

a thousand tiny pieces

I got the name for my site from the song ‘A Thousand Tiny PIeces’, which I first heard as a cover by the Be Good Tanyas. Aside from being a beautiful song, I think it’s a fitting name for a portfolio or a blog, and I like the idea of a whole being made up of thousands of tiny bits. Here’s the Be Good Tanyas performing the song;

*sigh*, it’s just lovely

The Doodling

I love illustration, and I want it to feature throughout the site. So I’m thinking about types of drawing and sketching and the idea of using sketch fonts of headers and titles. I’m not sure quite how hand-drawn I want the site to be yet, but I think some spot illustrations would be good to illustrate pages and projects. A while ago, I got a nice app called Paper, and did some doodles to try it out, some with fingers and some with an iPad pen, here’s a selection;

Tentheadband

I know they are very doodley, but I like the uneven line and the watercolour brush in the app. I think I may use something like this for page footers, making a doodle for each project to underline the page.

Last summer, I read a great comic book called Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf. It’s the story of the relationship between The Beatles’ original bassist Stu Sutcliffe and¬†Astrid Kirchherr. It’s a lovely, sad book, and the artwork suits it perfectly. I love the sketchy feel, and the charcoal swathes of shading. I think I’d like to do something similar, with a nice fluid and loose style.

I’ve also recently read Gingerbread Girl by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin, and Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brogsol. Both books are fantastic, and the drawing is great, with a real sense of movement and character. What I like about both books is the shading, using single colours to block midtones. It’s really effective. I’m going to try out accent blocks (maybe different throughout the site?) in the page illustrations.

Gingerbread Girl

I can’t blog about illustration without mentioning these two artists;

Charles M Schulz

I love the Peanuts cartoons, for both their artwork and the characters and stories. I think the animated versions are amazing too, with Bill Melendez’ animation and Vince Guaraldi’s music complementing the stories and characters wonderfully. Recently, I’ve been reading some really early Peanuts comics, and I really like the inky, more fluid style. Here’s the first ever Peanuts strip;

Peanuts

Jaime Hernandez

Jaime Hernandez is one of Los Bros Hernandez, writers/artists of Love and Rockets. I love his stories and characters, and his use of black and white. I think it’s a perfect companion to Peanuts in a weird way. I like the idea that the Peanuts gang might have grown up to be punks, wrestlers and pro-solar mechanics.

Art of Jaime Hernandez

I’ll probably post more of this type of post as I develop the site, and start to try out the designs I want to use, looking more closely at digital design, film and animation. I hope you don’t mind!

(By the way, if you like the look of any of these books, check out (and buy them from) ¬†Page 45, Nottingham’s brilliant independent comic shop)