Lately I've been giving myself "assignments" in order to fill out my portfolio. Some of those assignments have come from myself, but others have come from illustration competitions--the SCBWI Draw This! competition, Illustration Friday, and the SVS Third Thursday critique competition.
Last month, I was a sort of runner-up in the Third Thursday competition--I won a critique, but not the money toward class credit. I was happy--the critique was really what I was after. I was pretty happy because that means I get to try again! (I'm hoping for a repeat this month--a critique without the prize money. We'll see if that happens though.)
The prompt was pretty fun this time--any scene from Jack and the Beanstalk. Of course like everyone my first few ideas were of Jack climbing up or down the Beanstalk, but as I sketched thumbnails I eventually settled on this idea as my favorite.
As I was brainstorming I was also trying to think of other things that could help my illustration to be unique. I was thinking of different settings or cultures. Finally, I found the idea I was looking for--the Depression! The Jack and the Beanstalk story fits perfectly into that period. I would love to illustrate an entire version of Jack and the Beanstalk in that era... but for now, here is just the one illustration:
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