Friday, August 7, 2009

IMAGINING MOZAMBIQUEOn August 27, 2009, I will be participating in a traveling fund-raising group show at Maxalot Gallery in Amsterdam for ASEM, a non-profit organization for the children of Mozambique.
This project was especially important to me because I was born in Mozambique - actually I am second generation being that my parents were born there as well. Coincidentally, or perhaps serendipitously, I was asked to participate in this exhibit. In 1975 Mozambique gained independence from Portugal after hundreds of years; however, 10 years prior to that began the revolution or civil war that carried on for decades after. As a result there was a mass exodus during that time, and luckily my family and I along with thousands of others fled the country fearing that our lives would be torn apart by the war.
Unfortunately for many of those who remained, that was just what happened. Mozambique's war last until the early 1990s and was coupled with economic instability, famine, drought and other natural disasters. Many of the children of Mozambique therefore, became victims of violence, poverty and were separated from their families and forced to live on the streets.
For this exhibit eleven artists from around the world were asked to create a piece that would help to enlighten the public to the every day life of the children of Mozambique, in hopes to inspire awareness and positive action in some capacity.
Below are some of the photos that I took of my process of creating this piece from sketch stage to final. It was my intention to keep this piece somewhat narrative and have it include some qualities that might be inherent in story book illustrations. The children here are hopeful, food and water are plentiful and they are spreading goodness to one other, celebrating and partaking in it.
Here is my initial sketch. I usually like to keep it rather loose, breaking the image down into shapes in order to find a composition that satisfies me, after which I proceed into tightening the drawing.
I've transferred my rough drawing onto watercolour paper. Typically I place the rough drawing underneath a fresh sheet of paper and use that as a template to create a final drawing by means of a light table, but in this case the sheet of paper that I am using is roughly about 30x40". Consequently, I had to do a graphite transfer of my rough drawing onto my watercolour paper instead.
Oftentimes to save time I will draw some components of my drawing on mylar or tracing paper. It's an approach that was informed by my time spent learning how to silk screen i.e. separating your image into layered components and then assembling them together to form an entire image. This method of working makes sense to me because it allows me to work on each layer without it affecting other layers. Moreover, since my main medium is digital using Adobe Illustrator, I have become accustomed to layering my images already. That's something that is very important to me as an illustrator, to learn various techniques and artforms outside of my own because there is a possibility that it might inform my craft or process in some way.
The inked image was then scanned into my computer and then finished off in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Oftentimes, I like to print a version of my illustration in the midst of working in order to comb over the details of it. You can see in the photo above that I've done a test print. But if you scroll to the top of the page, you'll notice that my colour palette has changed considerably. I feel as though the image on the monitor creates a false sense of what my illustrations look like when they're printed although I'm actually not sure why that is? It might be because of the glare? Perhaps my eyes get tired of looking at the monitor and so I overlook mistakes? I really don't know.
Either way, I like to hold the actual illustration in my hand, even if it is a print and use that as a final test to see whether or not I am actually happy with the image that I've drawn.
The opening for "Imagining Mozambique" will premier at Maxalot Gallery, in Amsterdam on August 27, 2009. You can visit the website at to see the other artists who will be involved and read more about the exhibit.


Rebekka R. Dunlap said...

What a brilliant image, its quite fascinating to see it through all the different stages!

Quemado said...

What a fantastic piece Marcos! As a student I'm always thrilled when my artists heroes show their process. Can't wait to see what's next!

donny said...

nice work as always. the bits about your process are really interesting and appreciated.

Ryan Cooper said...

Very nice! Your work is very inspiring.

Marcos Chin said...

thanks so much everyone for your comments :-) i'm finally keeping up with my posts... i'll be sure to put more work up that shows my process in the near future.

Robert said...

Yo, thanks for puting up the process! It solves a lot of mysteries I thought I understood.Much respect homez.

anima-base said...

Wow, Very awesome illustration.
I love it

Marcos Chin said...

thanks for the comments rob and anima-base... i'm planning to put more of my process up... i've just been lazy... but there will be more soon. thanks again