About this project
Welcome to my Kickstarter project!
For this project, my aim is to create an art book featuring the 100+ stories of Ovid's masterpiece, Metamorphoses.
Metamorphoses was completed in 8 AD. In it, Ovid describes Greek and Roman mythology, stretching from the creation of the universe...
...to the death of Julius Caesar (the dictator of Rome, not to be confused with his equally ruthless younger brother, Little Caesar, of pizza fame).
Ovid's epic poem is extremely important. Besides being the best (often, the only) source of the greatest mythology of all time, Metamorphoses was an incomparable influence to some of the greatest storytellers since the Roman Empire was founded. Ever heard of Shakespeare? He was no stranger to Ovid, often dipping his grubby paws into Metamorphoses and scraping out a plot or two. But Shakespeare was not the only hungry artist. Some of the greatest works produced by mankind have borrowed heavily from Ovid. I merely want to be the most recent to rely on his timeless work.
The fact is, despite being so pivotal, Metamorphoses is not as widely read as you'd think. Not anymore, anyway. Maybe it's the length of the book that turns people off. Maybe it's the lack of pretty pictures. Either way, I intend to do something about it.
A picture is worth a thousand words. I hope to take advantage of that fact, condensing each tedious story into one tedious illustration. By merely looking at a picture, accompanied by a short excerpt or summary, one could theoretically absorb the entirety of Metamorphoses in one sitting. In this manner, civilization can go forth.
For my illustrations, I am using Ian Johnston's translation of Metamorphoses, published by Richer Resources Publications. If you love the classics, you should probably familiarize yourself with Mr. Johnston. As the kids say; "His translations are phenomenal".
MORE METAMORPHOSES IMAGES BY ME!
A BIT ABOUT ME
As you have undoubtedly guessed by now, I am Ian Crowe and, yes, those are my paintings. I have been creating artwork for as long as I can remember - although the majority of my masterpieces reside about 2 inches behind my eyes, waiting for their moment to emerge from the ether. Or not.
I have studied art theory and methods for a long time. Indeed, most of my early library rentals were along the lines of "How-to-draw <fill in the blank, usually ghouls or some such>". I have, of course, taken traditional classes in both public school and college, as well as the occasional Superhero-drawing class and glass-blowing sit-ins. However, I have found that the primary benefit from these classes has merely been that of doing. I doubt that, when I was a teenager, I would have spent any time drawing/painting/sculpting if not for class requirements.
Thankfully, I've recovered from that reluctance (laziness) and here we are. Recently, with the excitement (and relative cleanliness) of digital artwork, I have discovered my inner-artist anew. My passion for creating has been rekindled, and I feel the time is ripe for me to subject the masses to my visions.
My process for each of these pieces is as follows: I read the appropriate portion of Metamorphoses (using, as I said, Ian Johnston's marvelous translation). Often, as I read, there comes a point when I can "see" the story. The words jump out at me and I think, "Good gravy, I want to draw that!"
Other times, I read and read and nothing in particular strikes me. There is no "moment" that begs to be painted. In those instances, I withdraw my consciousness into a deep meditation...while watching cat videos on YouTube.
Once I come up with an idea, I spend varying amounts of time sketching it out - on napkins, notepads, or whatever else is at-hand. When I am satisfied with my sketch and composition, I begin to work in earnest. I either scan the winning sketch into Photoshop, or begin anew using the sketch as a rough guide.
I spend anywhere between 4 and 20 hours on each illustration, usually over the course of several days. Of course, those timeframes are optimistic estimates; I have been known to work for a time, only to realize 6+ hours have passed since I looked away.
And, of course, there is what I affectionately call the "artist's curse". That is, I will work on a piece for hours - targeting details, tongue lolling, shading every leaf, attempting to bestow a god with a tasteful suggestion of genitalia. I can see the end in sight, I'm almost done.
Then I go get some water.
When I return, I find that this masterpiece I've been working on is, quite simply, terrible. This refreshed view, mere minutes later, allows me to see my work for the first time, truly. It is all too easy to get caught up in the details, all the while straying further from a semblance of a coherent whole.
The moral: take breaks. Also, keep water at your desk.
Risks and challenges
My biggest challenge with this project will be managing my time. I work full-time, and supplement my income with freelance graphic design/illustration work.
So, basically, I work, I sleep, I work some more.
Even with a fully funded project ($9000), I will have to work overtime to get this finished on schedule (meaning: I'll never sleep again). Here is how that money will be allocated:
Firstly, Kickstarter takes a 5% cut, and Amazon Payments takes another 3%-5% for credit card transactions.The majority of the leftover goes directly into the print order for the books. The remainder of THAT will be split between shipping costs, printer fees for custom prints (see Rewards!), and, perhaps, the occasional hamburger. I get hungry.
Therefore, every dollar OVER my goal directly goes to speeding up my production; if I don't have to spend 30+ hours a week on side projects, I can devote that time to finishing up this book. Make sense?
Other than that, I'm raring to go. This really is a project I believe in, and I'll finish it whether I succeed with Kickstarter or not. Eventually.
I judge my pride to be about the size of a medium grapefruit, but even so I cannot resort to begging. Therefore, I've tried to choose rewards that are fair for everyone involved (that is, me and you). If you are interested and have the means, I would definitely appreciate the support!
If not, no pressure. But don't you want to be a part of something epic?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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