For the actual posts I kind of just wanted the images to be standalones, but I decided I wanted to expand a little on what I produced. In all honesty I was a bit nervous about taking on the commissions, having not drawn anything “properly” since sixteen or so, but I’m really glad that I did of course, and it’s actually made me want to use more illustrations in my work.
On BOX 18 response
Fabric, hands, and fingers. This is one where I had an immediate concept in mind, namely two hands holding a piece of draped fabric like that of curtains across a stage in a theatre. Hands can be quite an expressive tool when communicating with others, both while acting and while being sincere, or feigning sincerity, and I thought about the ways they can be used to convey different things. An illustration of a hand is what lead me to be commissioned in the first place, so I felt quite comfortable with the imagery I’d chosen, though I did struggle a bit with the positioning of hands in terms of balancing perspective and minimalism. Hands are quite strange things when you think about it.
After being told what text I was responding to, I bought a copy of B O X at the Small Publisher’s Fair. Any excuse to invest in more poetry, but I also thought it might help me to elaborate my interpretation. I can’t say whether or not it did, but I certainly enjoyed reading it.
On lilith (night demon) response
I tried to merge religious imagery with femininity. I have a pretty stylistic drawing style when it comes to faces, even when restraining myself from more exaggerated features (typically far more forlorn looking faces with oversized eyes gazing upwards; I’m unsure as to how this became my default but the margins of old notepads attest to it) I worried that it felt too unpolished, but I think it fits my intent.
In terms of why I chose to draw what I did, I’m not able to articulate myself as well as I’d like. Minimalist chapels overlayed with floating female heads. The illustrations wearing lace head coverings are scribbled over because it’s complicated. A few symbols are scattered about, crescent moons with crosses beneath them, the symbol of Lilith. The asemic writing kind of brings it together, and again, something complicated that I can’t quite put into words. On another subject, one of the faces in particular was drawn after Nicole Dollanganger, who I’m sure if I ever finish writing planned essays/articles will end up cropping up, as she was very much key to my formative writing years and I still admire her voice in every sense to this day.
I’m very grateful to Astra Papachristodoulou for the opportunity to create these pieces and hope that I’ve done the poems justice in my own strange sketchy way.