Week 1: A Composition On The Benefits Of Reading
Hello! Welcome to my senior project: “Illustrating Jane Eyre: Reviving Classics Through Art.” In this post, I’ll give a brief intro to my project: my inspiration, outside advisor, project details, and timeline.
Lamentations on the Declining Interest in Classic Books
Many classics these days are being adapted to modern mediums like TV and graphic novels. However, these adaptations fall short of conveying the themes and complexities of the original book. Due to their visual nature, they also deny audiences the chance to use their imagination and visualization skills. Plus, a lot of students these days just aren’t into books anymore — and why would they be when they can read a fun webcomic with colors and cute, modern art style instead?
I like classics, and I want others to like them too; that’s why I chose to illustrate a book. Illustration is great for several reasons:
- It Doesn’t Eradicate The Original Text Like TV And Comic Adaptions Do.
- It Gives The Reader A Visual Base For Reference But Doesn’t Take Away All Room For Imagination And Interpretation.
- Pictures Are Fun To Look At, And Increase Reader Engagement!
(I don’t know why, but each word after every bullet point keeps automatically capitalizing itself. I can’t stop it, so it’s a sacrifice I’m making to keep my blog formatting cute.)
I’ll be painting digitally in an art style that is a cross of realism and currently trendy comic/anime art to breathe an air of modernity into the historical scenes. I hope my illustrations will make the task of reading a classic seem a little less daunting and make the book a bit more interesting for readers.
I chose Jane Eyre as my book for several reasons. Firstly, it’s an ever-relevant and highly regarded classic. Second, almost all of my peers have read it as part of AP Literature, so I’ll have plenty of people who know the book and can give me feedback on my drawings.
Introducing My Amazing Mentor
My mentor for this project is freelance artist and YouTube art instructor Marco Bucci (https://www.marcobucci.com/), who’s been working in the art industry for 15 years now. Coincidentally, he’s illustrated a picture book version of Jane Eyre before! I get excited every single time I remember he’s my mentor since I’ve been a devout fan of his content for years.
Here are links to his YouTube channel and Instagram:
A Little Shameless Self Promo
Since this is an art project, I’ll be inundating you with my art endeavors — mostly Jane Eyre-related, but since I haven’t started that yet, here are a couple my recent illustrations for your enjoyment:
And you can check out more at https://alisonding6.artstation.com/projects or at my art Instagram (@yumeiihua). That’s it for the self-promo, I promise.
The Actual Project
Just like the title says, the product of my project will be a set of 5 illustrations to accompany the book “Jane Eyre.” I’m focusing on scenes that are both thematically important and major plot points.
Here’s my schedule:
Week 1: Decide which scenes to illustrate and make list.
Week 2: Conduct research on the Victorian Era by watching movies, reading articles, and visiting museums.
Week 3: Design characters (Jane, Rochester, Bertha, St. John . . . )
Week 4: Design settings (Thornfield Hall, Lowood School, etc.) Week
5 – 10: Sketch and paint scenes. About one scene per week, more if possible.
The scenes I’m planning to draw are:
Chapter II — Jane gets locked in the “Red Room”
Chapter XXIII — Rochester proposes to Jane after their argument in the garden.
Chapter XXVI — Rochester’s secret (Bertha) is exposed in the chapel on the wedding day.
Chapter XXXV — St. John proposes to Jane, who almost agrees to marry him until she hears Rochester calling her.
Chapter XXXVIII — Jane’s happy ending: married to Rochester, Adele at home, Saint John in India
That’s all for this week! The next blog post will talk about the setting of Jane Eyre, and I’ll explain my costume and environment design process. See you then.