Monday, 25 April 2011


The current brief I've been working on for the past few weeks is a collaboration with writers from MMU where we were asked to create an illustration for a short story. The story I'm illustrating is "Rushmore" written by Robert Cowan. The story is set in the future where the planet has been affected by radiation poisoning and the rich and influential have fled the planet leaving behind the poor who become sick. The main character is a corporal named Jack Rushmore who is left in charge of a small office where he has to power to grant visas illegally for his own gain.

We got a chance to meet with the writer and were able to run through some of our initial ideas and ask some questions about the story.

When talking to the author he mentioned a poem that is referenced in the story. The poem is called "The Lime Tree Bower My Prison" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The poem is about Coleridge who wallows in self pity as he is unable to go on a journey in the country with his friends. Limited to sitting under the lime tree he uses the power of his imagination to alter his perception and takes himself on the journey with them. At the end of the poem he realises that nature can be found anywhere even under the lime tree bower that he once felt so confined.

I guess this links in with Rushmore as he is trapped on a dying planet with no immediate means of escape and has to make do as best he can.

My plan was to recreate the image of a family enjoying a picnic under the lime tree bower which symbolises a time when the world was a happier place and nature flourished. Below is my inked version, which I'm planning to do again in watercolour to give it a softer feel.

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