Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cover Released!


Hello folks! 

Long time, but I haven't been idle. Below, I'm proud to present, the official cover for the upcoming A Land Remembered: Graphic Novel from Pineapple Press! The cover presents the three generations of the MacIvey family, each in their prime, standing over a map of Florida. 

This has been a long time coming. I wanted to make sure I captured the spirit of the book, while presenting a cover that wasn't so overplayed as a comic book like my Flagler's Few series. I wanted to appeal to non-comic fan crowd, as my adaptation is meant to not only entice new readers to the Patrick Smith classic, but seasoned fans as well who may never have picked up a book before. 

If you're a fan of the art, and are interested in learning more about my work on the project, I will be presenting at the upcoming Florida Heritage Book Festival, in St. Augustine on September 23-24th. I'll be discussing the process of adapting the novel, as well as selling a limited print run of the covers on 11x17 mini-poster formats. 

Hope to see you there! Stay tuned for more! 

-Andre



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Greetings from the Wilderness!


Well hello again fellow pioneers! Just wanted to update you on where we're at, specifically. I'm vacationing in the North Carolina mountains with the wife at a place called Knight's Knoll. It belongs to Enivronmental Scientist, Debra Segal, who I recently worked with as her illustrator on her upcoming book, Idylwild Cowgirls, coming out soon!

Knight's Knoll

Debra's


Debra was nice enough to offer my wife and I her cabin to stay at over the Spring. My wife is a huge hiking/outdoor enthusiast, and I knew it would make her happy to get away from the hustle and bustle and commune with nature again.

Knight's Knoll is located near Mount Mitchell, which is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River! The surrounding area is also host to a series of hiking trails, waterfalls and lakes.

As well as being an opprtunity for my wife to cut loose after a grueling semester of DNP schooling, I thought it would provide an opportunity to expand my relationship with nature, becoming a little more fluent in the ways of the wild (as much as staying in a cabin and going down hiking trails can).
I also thought it would help me with inspiration for A Land Remembered. Yes, the Carolina mountains are very different from the flat Florida wilderness, but it's still outside of a city, in the middle of nature, surrounded by forests and wildlife, not much different from the MacIvey's farm in the North Florida wilds.      
                                                                                                                       
So I packed my art supplies with me, right along with the hiking and camping equipment with all the expectations that I'd dig in and get some real work done. Well, on our first night, it didn't disappoint.

One of the best things about being away from the city is the lights. When you're not surrounded by artificial light, you have so much more clarity to see the stars. I remember when visiting Gold Head Branch State Park with the family when I was a kid, my dad would take us outside to roast marshmallows and look at the stars. You could see thousands of them, clear as day!

You also get a sense for just how dark it can be in the country without streetlights and buildings. It's a spooky yet beautiful feeling to experience the world around you as it was meant to be seen without all the intrusions of man and his technology, again, a chance to see the world as the MacIvey's may have at the end of a busy day of cattle herding.

Not my photo, but a great shot of the stars over North Carolina

This  experience was especially helpful, as I'm currently working on the pages introducing Glenda, Zech's future wife. In the scene, he offers her a ride on Ishmel, and they take to the Florida woods for a night ride that ends up introducing Zech to the idea of love and companionship. 

I used the experience of our first evening in the mountains, the quiet, dark, yet enchanting nature of the stars and deep woods to develop the scene below. The low hanging moon, the bright stars and the density of the woods surrounding the couple as they experience their first evening ride together! 

Enjoy! 
"You wanna ride him?" 




Thursday, March 23, 2017

Time Lapse: Introducing Frog!


Check out this time lapse video showing the introduction of Frog, Tobias's rough speaking, heavy drinking farm hand who he finds on the streets of Kissimmee.

This is my first time playing with time lapse function on my iPhone, but I think it helps show you the progress a bit more efficiently, for those who don't want to watch the progress over a course of hours.

We're in full gear again, so there'll be a lot more material coming your way, including a concept art piece displaying the MacIvey Farm layout!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vlog #2: Process Videos


Hello y'all!

Happy March! Join me today as I take you through the process of creating a finished page from beginning to end. This two part video will show you how I start off with a simple pencil layout and finish with a far more detailed and dynamic ink job.

And to demonstrate this, I saved a very special point in the book, the introduction of the MacIvey Clan's first adopted member, Skillit. Skillit is an integral part of A Land Remembered, especially for it's social development in the story. Skillit is a slave-turned-free man who after a series of misfortunate events he stumbles across the good fortune of being welcomed to join the MacIvey family and take part in the cattle herding business.

I hope you find this behind-the-scenes walk-thru of my art process interesting. We're 45 pages in, but we still have over 200 more to go! The rides just getting started!







Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Vlog #1: Finishing up Chapter 2

First batch of videos as I finish up the last page of Chapter 2 
for A Land Remembered: The Graphic Novel. 

Session 1: Pencil Layout

Session 2: Ink and Tones

Session 3: The End

Hope you enjoyed! Be sure to also check out my Kickstarter for my other project 



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Vlog Kick-off Show!


Good news! I ordered a bunch of new tools, supplies and gizmos and they're all in! I purchased a new drafting table stool, this one is called a saddle stool and it looks JUST like a saddle from a horses back, rather fitting, wouldn't you say? My stash of ink brushes and pens are here, as well as all the bristol board I'll need for the book. I'm ready to hunker down and start cranking out pages for the long haul. 

Additionally, I purchased a goose neck mount, which will allow me to hold my iPhone over my drafting board while I work. This means, I can now add videos of me working on the pages to blog (or should I say, vlog?). I'll be utilizing Facebook LIVE as well so that people can tune in and make comments, suggestions and ask questions as we go along! 

To start it off right, I've posted this video below, catching everyone up to the same level as to where I stand in the process of this book. Tune in below and keep checking in as I update you in real time on the project!



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meet the MacIvey Family!


Happy New Year, all! I hope that your holidays were well spent with friends and family and that you're gearing up for a very productive (hopefully) year in 2017! I'm eagerly setting out on the next stage of A Land Remembered: The Graphic Novel with something I'm sure you'll find interesting...character designs. 

In total there are roughly eleven major characters in the book, but as these are the first four major characters in the first few chapters, I thought I'd share them first. I paid close attention to the way Patrick Smith described the characters, catching not only their likeness, but the personality that they represent. 

With Tobias, it's the struggle he has, not only with protecting and supporting his family, but the struggle he has internally, in making sure that dragging his family out into the wilds of Florida was the right thing. For that, I've made him youthful and heroic, but also gaunt, hungry and slightly worried. 

Zech, captivates the sense of awe and wonder of the MacIvey family, as most children do. For Zech, everything is an adventure and even in the toughest of times he puts on a good face and maintains a happy spirit. 

Emma is patience and wisdom. Her demeanor throughout the book is calm, cool and collected, but who also worries for the happiness of those around her. She's willing to sacrifice her own happiness and contentment if it means that Tobias and Zech thrive. I wanted her to be beautiful, but in an earthy and disheveled way.

Skillit is of course the spirit of hope in the story.  At the beginning of the book, Skillit is skittish, wary and bashful. As an ex-slave, he doesn't consider himself deserving of anything, so he's genuinely shocked and awed by the good fortune he's had in meeting the MacIvey Family. By the end of the story (without giving too much away), Skillit comes full circle and becomes the epitome of the American Success story, in many ways, even more so than Tobias, Zech or Sol. 

Keith Tiger, the Seminole friend to the MacIvey Clan, is a precursor of the terrible things to come. Keith Tiger's people are on the verge of annihilation, as they are pushed further south with no land to call their own, forced to watch white men tear a path to the bottom of the Florida coast. Yet, despite all the loss and all the sorrow he's suffered, he remains a resounding figure of friendship and good nature, no matter how strong a face he puts on. He remains a steadfast observer of a land he once remembered.

As we go forward, I'll introduce you to the rest of the cast (including Frog, Bongo, Glenda and Twanda). Something I'm finding most interesting about this process is that unlike my previous works, where the characters remain the same age throughout, these characters grow and evolve across a hundred years, so we'll be seeing Tobias go from a young father to an aged grandfather, his face showing the wear. We'll see as Zech goes from an adolescent full of hope, to a man who has seen great loss and fought a personal war. 

It's exciting times ahead for this year! So stick with me as I reveal much more! Happy New Year!