Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dragons and Other Incidents of Travel

by Cory Godbey

From cliffside encounters to subterranean concerts to magic tricks on sunny hills, Dragons and Other Incidents of Travel, follows a young wizard and his familiar as they traverse a wide and perilous land of dragons.  
Benevolent, dreadful, cunning, or just big and sleepy, I love to draw dragons and I hope you will enjoy the result. 
Dragons and Other Incidents of Travel is my 9th annual sketchbook.

I've put together an annual sketchbook for the last nine years. The first few weren't on any particular theme and, by and large, were just collections of whatever I had drawn in the year that wasn't for any client's project.
Year by year, the sketchbooks became more ambitious and gradually I struck upon the idea of creating a theme for each collection. Nowadays it's usually around the end of the year or the beginning of the New Year, I settle on a theme and then begin planning a new collection on that theme.
What I've found by working this way is that a framework not only helps to focus my ideas, it serves to generate new ones. It felt like a revelation: by working through a series of related images, turning the ideas around in my mind, scribbling them out, actually presented me with new ideas and helped to broaden the depth of the work by letting me see it in a context.



The apparent theme for my 2016 sketchbook is dragons, yes, but in fact, I actually think the theme is travel. 
I've been a reluctant traveler. I mean, I wrote a whole post (concerning Iceland) about that last year. While I felt myself change at the time, I don't believe I realized just how much Iceland changed my mentality regarding travel. In fact, at this very moment I'm writing this post from an airport (coming back from Iceland... again!)

This new sketchbook is, on some level, me working through thoughts on travel (in the context of dragons? I guess so, I can't begin to explain myself). 

I approached the project with the goal of creating ten new pieces. While I ultimately whittled down the collection to the eight strongest ideas, they all began the same way, quick thumbnail scribbled and a digital rough. 



I've talked about the digital rough before but the benefit that I find is that it allows me to think ahead to values and be sure the piece is working in that respect. Also, I enjoy planning my shapes and figures. It's one of my favorite stages in the process. I leave a lot of the elements up to the actual moment of drawing but I want a strong framework on which to build.



Do I still prefer to be at home in the quiet of my studio, fireplace crackling, and ever removing cats from my desk chairs? I sure do. 

But, I've found that much like a certain Bilbo Baggins, I've also got a Tookish streak.




If you find yourself with a copy of Dragons and Other Incidents of Travel I hope that you'll enjoy it!

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