We get hundreds of email messages, postcards, and weird/wonderfully crafted packages every month from illustrators clamoring to be a part of this magazine. If you saw the stack of them that piles up occasionally, you might not believe that I actually look at each submission. But I do! And so when I choose the handful of artists to work with for each issue, I'm pretty attached to what we come up with together. As Bitch hits issue #59 with Micro/Macro, I thought I would shine a light on some of the "micro" behind-the-scenes thought that goes into the eye candy you see in our pages. This post features sketches from illustrator Adriana Vawdrey.
Adriana is a former illustration student of mine from Pacific Northwest College of Art. Since graduation, she continued to push herself to explore ideas weekly in a visual journal and I've been following her thought process from afar via her excellent blog, "Make Lemonade". In her "Train of Thought" entries, she starts with one concept and digs into whatever associations arise in rapid succession as she sketches. Her expressive style and nuanced take on complex personal issues of faith and personal identity made her a perfect choice for our article, "Dark Habits: American Horror Story: Asylum and the Gothic-Nun Tradition." While one artist may have focused more on the secretive and salacious depictions of nuns, I wanted to highlight both the macabre and a sense of humanity.
I love how the round halo / aura around the figure functions like either a stained glass window or an xray through the nun's habit, highlighting her goodness but also containing and trapping her, entangling her with the roots. That circle motif repeats like a lens or a moon in the second illustration.
Adriana also sketched out some beautiful lettering, shown below, which we did not end up using in the final print edition.
Stay tuned for future behind-the-scenes art posts, including and a bit about our cover for this issue.