It all began in 2014, when I decided to officially (rather than unofficially) participate in National Novel Writing Month. Writers will challenge themselves to complete 50,000 words of a novel, all during the month of November.
That same year I joined a gallery show of rising comics artists, that was going to be displayed for a week in late November - early December. The only way
I could give both projects my all was to make them the same project.
The theme of the exhibit that year was Heroes & Villains, hence it became my writing prompt. Although it could have been fun to stretch the concept in a new direction, there was already a superhero story in the works that I wanted to bring fresh attention to, When Life's Just Super. Since I was already well aquainted with the characters and plot points, the novelization was mostly a matter of telling it in prose, which also helped me find weak spots and restructure the story in critical places.
But for the gallery... instead of simply putting artwork on the wall, I wanted to take advantage of the 3-dimensional space, and the opportunity for personal interaction.
I wanted it to feel real. And so it became what I now call an "illustration installation." A display with visually drawn pieces, but that invites the viewer to touch, explore, and participate in the artwork.
The following year, this past fall of 2015, the situation repeated itself. A plan to do novel writing month in November, a plan to do the exhibit in early December. Except I found out the exhibit theme in April, and it was Nightmares. Not having an existing story concept, I began ruminating on this topic, and rolling around ideas, until it evolved into Nadia and the Nightmares.
Currenly I am editing this novel, and adding further illustrations, until I have a draft that will be ready to receive feedback and pitch to publishers.
Photo from the exhibit (to the right),