Illustration Notes for Episode Two

Nothing more exciting to depict—really—than a laptop, a water bottle, a cup of coffee, and that letter?

Actually, I started working on a different image for this episode—then realized halfway through that it would be far better suited to Episode Four. So…what to draw in its place? I ended up choosing this ‘close-up’ on the contents of Anna’s desk for several reasons.

First, it says things about her ‘life.’

Spartan. Practical. ‘Stimulants’ to sustain her pace, calorie-free ‘hydration’ because she’s health-conscious and responsible, email because that’s what she spends at least half her time doing, and all the discipline and efficiency these elements suggest. Anna is a no-nonsense paragon—with very high standards for herself, and for others. She hasn’t time for or interest in empty show, and very little patience for anyone’s ‘theater.’ This snapshot of her desktop is all about where Anna is at the beginning of this tale. And a subtle indication of what she might need to reassess about her approach—if you’re looking for it.

And the letter, of course. That needed to be here—thrown into the middle of her orderly regimen. Another plain, tidy little item—and yet, a trojan horse, ticking like a bomb. That seemed to complete what I wanted to say visually about Anna and this episode.

Beyond all that, I also thought it best to insert such a simple image into the illustration stream at this point to ‘illustrate’—as it were—the fact that not all of my illustrations for this series are going to be ambitious, panoramic masterpieces of operatic imagery. :]

Having committed myself to turning out an image every week for the next few years—without any way of knowing what intrusive surprises life may throw into this mix for me along the way—I can garantee you that, while some of these weekly episode illustrations will be quite elaborate, most are likely to be very simple little vignettes—perhaps even just sketches of an object or a symbol—as appropriate to the scene—or just unavoidably necessary due to unanticipated ‘avalanche surfing’ during the previous week. Like a good poet, I will often need to figure out how to communicate large insights using minimal elements stripped of every uneccessary embellishment.

So, I decided to start throwing simple imagery at you early, and set up realistic expectations.

…I did still try to make it pretty, though. :] And here’s what this week’s illustration looks like, whole and uncropped:

Mark Ferrari