Assignment: Illustrate a fortune from a fortune cookie.
For the assignment, each student was given a fortune cookie and had to illustrate the fortune that was inside their cookie. My fortune read "Sing everyday and chase the mean blues away."
I had a couple different concepts I wanted to work with. One involved a person crouching in a circle of light while being surrounded by shadow creatures that were being torn to bits because of the light. I decided to go with the concept with a bird chasing the "mean blues" away.
I got the original idea from staying up all night late enough to watch the sun rise on a number of occasions. I noticed that birds would always sing when dawn was just around the corner, so I came up with the idea that the birds sing in order to chase away the darkness, or the "mean blues." Instead of having the sun rising in the background behind the birds, I decided to have the birds be portrayed as the actual light of dawn.
The "mean blues" were depicted as darkness. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to portray the "mean blues" as shadowy monsters, so I threw in some hands and drew skulls and faces in the fog surrounding the shadows. I added in the stars to drive the point home that the shadowy monsters are the embodiment of the night that is being chased away by the coming dawn.
I was going for a fantasy type illustration, and I'm glad that it read that way when my instructor was critiquing it. I got excited when he said that it had a Dungeons & Dragons-esque fantasy feel to it because that's exactly the type of work I want to get into, and hearing that meant that I was traveling in the right direction.