Friday, 30 September 2011

The British Museum

I visited the British Museum to gather inspiration and a combination of facts and information regarding Greek history. There were an incredible amount of artifacts displaying a wealth of Greek history and art.


Vases used for a different purposes weather it be day to day uses and as ornaments. The artwork covering these spectacular vases depicted many ancient gods, goddesses and general civilians of the time. I notice alot were covered in crawling children, boys and men with wings, bathing women and battle scenes.
There were so many Vases are the museum I couldn't take photos of all of them but I took photos of the ones I found would be good reference as well as the vases that I just liked the look of.

Throughout the whole of the Ancient Greek section of the British Museum I could only find one sculpture of Icarus. This was a 8cm tall Bronze figure.

The stance he makes seems like it would have some significance to the myth, were the wings facing up and down representing his rise and fall?

Character Reference
I photographed a selection of objects I felt were great for character design reference. There were many novity cups that were in the shape of animals, small figures and full sized sculptures.

Patterns, Shape and Texture
One of the most important outcomes I wanted from my visit was to collect a selection of textures, patterns and shapes that can help me with my creation of the book. The museum was abundant with stunning shapes and patterns. The styles varied from era's and location.
After being satisfied that I have looked at everything in the Ancient Greek section, feeling abit confused that I found only one reference to Icarus. I took a visit to the Gift shop and Book Shop to see what materials they had. I discovered whilst reading the books on the Art and myths that  that works that contained Icarus were en-fact roman and later. I took note of a couple of the pieces.

Also while I was in the book store I had a look at the children's books to see if there were any books about Greek mythology. In total there were about five and one containing Icarus. This book was very much what I remember from my childhood, watercolour cartoons and a very dated look. I feel children are looking for something new.

Monday, 26 September 2011


Storyline Breakdown

Daedalus, Icarus's father was an inventor from Athens who had been taught by the Godess Athena. He was obsessed with his nephew Talis and his skills as a craftsman, but Daedalus become jealous of him and threw him off the roof of Athenas Temple and he died. Daedalus was banish and saw refuge in Crete at King Minos's Court. King Minos shut Daedalus and Icarus in the labyrinth that Theseus killed the Minotaur in (Another Myth). They could only escape the labyrinth by flying, so Daedalus built wings from feathers and beeswax. Before they flew Deadalus warned Icarus, he said not to fly to close to the sea spray and blown down, and not to close to the sun as is it will melt the beeswax. But Icarus, excited in the moment forgot his fathers wise words and flew up higher and higher, until he reached such a high that the sun was so hot it melted the wax. Icarus fell to his death.
There are many morals that can be drawn from this myth. It can be said that whilst you are relishing in the joys of life and taking itto the next level weather it be with being irresponsible with success, love or drugs you can easily fall. The contrast between youth and age, recklessness and wisdom runs throughout Icarus,Icarus's mindlessness is what inevitably killed him but at the beginning of the story

As this is a children's book I would like focus on the moral themes in the book without making the book come across as if it is preaching. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Greek Myths

I have decided to look at Greek Mythology as a theme for my Children's Book. I feel that Greek myths work great as Children's stories and Greek art has very distinctive style that can give my book a authentic impression.

The myths were used to explain the world around them and where it came from, they contained heroes, gods, goddesses and mythological creatures. They were part of ancient Greek religion and used in a similar way to fables of Christianity. I looked into three Greek myths that interested me and I felt could work as a children's book.


Arnold Bocklin – Medusa (1878)
Source: www.arnoldbocklin.coma
King Polydictes set Perseus the task of bringing the head of Medusa to him, an almost impossible task that many had failed before. Medusa was a part serpent part woman was with his shiny reflective shield medusa saw her own reflection and turned to stone.

Daedalus and Icarus

Lament for Icarus – Herbert James Draper (1898)


There are several versions of the story. It involves Icarus and hias father Daedalus, they are locked away in a prison in the town Knossos on the island Crete by king Minos. They escape from the prison by building wings from feathers glued by wax and attaching them to their arms. Daedalus warns his not to fly to close to the sea and not to fly to close to the sun. He ignores his fathers guidance and fly's to close to the sun and wax which bonded the feathers on wings melts.


File:Antonio del Pollaiolo - Ercole e l'Idra e Ercole e Anteo - Google Art Project.jpg
Hercules and the Hydra By Antonio Pollaiuolo (1475)
Hercules was a demigod, half mortal and half god. Son of Zeus a Greek god, Hercules is given his god like powers on earth by god of the underworld hades as he wants to other through Zeus. The king at the time was jealous of Hercules and wanted rid of him. He set him almost impossible tasks to keep him away.
Conclusion and Discussion

I would like to stray away from the popular choices that many children will of already heard of. I have decided Icarus is the Myth that would work best, it is not one of the most well known myths and carries a message which is directed to the youth. Icarus is a short and uncomplicated myth, There isn't many characters nor is there many set locations. This gives me the ability to concentrate on creating a design of high quality rather than concentrating on the elaborate sets and lengthy storyline.

Friday, 23 September 2011

A Childrens Story

During my tutorial with Alan we decided the best option for my minor project would be to create a 2d Children book.

Things to consider: 

My Audience - I need to know and understand the audience, the age group and what gets them infused into a book. 

Art Direction - The art direction needs to stay authentic to the original story itself aswell as gathering from a mixture of sources and keeping current with what target audience likes.

Typography - Type face is an import aspect of a book and most importantly a Childrens book.  

Storyline/Structure - The flow and pace of the Story, 

Ideas - Multiple Endings, Popup and lookthrough, Book Finish and design. Length of the book. Ebook Version, Disability 

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