Ferocious Quarterly is a "slightly-larger-than-pocket-sized coffee table zine filled with illustrations, comics and pulp-inspired short stories". I was asked by Nate Utesch, the brains behind FQ, to participate in the latest issue no. 4, DEEP.
Whoa. I was SO honored to be asked! The list of artists that have been featured in the publication over the last several years includes many of my idols. It kinda blew my mind that I was being asked to join the ranks of those talented contributors. But despite my intimidation, I said YES!
The theme for Ferocious Quarterly no. 4 was DEEP. Artists were divided into two groups - deep sea and deep space. The deep sea group was tasked with creating an illustration set in a deep sea environment. They were then partnered with a deep space artist who took the round 1 deep sea illustration and used that as inspiration for their deep space piece.
I was partnered with Brandon Rike who created this bad-ass octopus:
We had two colors to work with - navy and mint green. As you can see, Brandon trailed the octopus legs off the right side of the page, and I really wanted to continue his lines on my side.
I don't do a lot of work in the science fiction genre, so when I was doing research for this project, I really gravitated towards futuristic cityscapes on distant planets. I liked the idea of incorporating space-age buildings set in a barren landscape. Once I started sketching I focused on two concepts:
The first concept had one of the aforementioned space cities surrounded by highways mounted on sky-high pillars. The roadways would be an extension of Brandon's octopus legs. The second concept was a bit more whimsical and literal, with alien legs attacking the surprised astronaut. I decided to finalize concept 1.
I liked how it turned out, but the skyway looked pretty random to me. If we're in space, wouldn't the vehicles be flying? Why would they need roads? It just didn't make sense to me and it seemed too safe. I decided to scrap it and flesh out concept 2.
As I worked, I decided I wanted more illustrated elements in this illustration, so I created a network of controls to give our hero a greater sense of purpose before he is attacked.
I wanted to share a bit of my process - after I create all the color flats, I print out the illustration, and utilizing tracing paper and a light box, I manually draw in the textures with a pencil. I then layer the transparent textures over my illustration in Photoshop and color them to create different effects.
I was happy with how the final art turned out, and I thought it was a good complement to Brandon's piece. I couldn't wait to see them together!
Last week, this showed up:
Ahhh! Isn't it beautiful? The simplicity of the cover, paired with the gold foil is just gorgeous. And I love the heavy stock and the perfect binding. Nate was so thoughtful when designing the book and it really shows.
I flipped it open, and right there in the middle was our spread!
It turned out so great! Even though I laid the two pieces together digitally, it has so much more impact side-by-side in the book. I am really glad I decided to go with the second concept. Though I feel bad for the poor astronaut. Hope he survived.
This was SUCH an amazing project. Though I was super intimated by the awesomeness of my fellow contributors and the exquisite corpse idea provided it's own challenge, I couldn't be happier with the end result. Plus, it turns out a couple of my talented artist pals were also included, so it's fun to share the excitement with them. (I'm looking at you, Nate and Scotty!) Thank you again, Nate, for taking me along on your ride!
If you want to purchase your own copy of Ferocious Quarterly no. 4, head on over to their shop. It would make a pretty great gift for the upcoming holidays, if I do say so myself!