Paper giants is a celebration of three of the world's most popular early science fiction and fantasy writers: Jules Verne, H P Lovecraft and H G Wells. Their stories have had an enormous influence upon the world consciousness and have become folklore.
Just as these three writers built up their reputations story by story, these portraits have been built up by layer upon layer of ink drawings – drawings representing images and elements from their books and what I imagine their minds must have been filled with.
This project came into being because I wanted to create portraits with collaged paper. And I wanted to use my own drawings as the basis for the collage. When I first started the project I had no idea how time consuming it would be. An enormous amount of planning and preparation went into each image before I even put pen to paper! In retrospect, it would have been much easier to just do it digitally, but I prefer to make things by hand where possible, and it seemed more appropriate to build the portraits physically with paper since paper was the medium that these writers worked upon.
Black and white ink drawings have been sliced up and then reassembled to create these collaged portraits. I hope you enjoy them.
From a photograph I first create a construction plan for the portrait, showing how the layers will overlap and approximately how dark or light each piece should be. The plan is created in Adobe Illustrator. I then split up all the pieces in the file and print them out onto paper so I can create templates to use when slicing up the drawings.
Using my prepared templates, I decide which parts of the drawings will best suit each piece in the portrait. Then I trace them onto the drawings and cut them out ready for assembly.
The assembly has to be done in a particular order for the finished portrait to work. I create another plan showing which pieces should be assembled first.
Once all the pieces of drawings are assembled and glued, I add a coloured card overlay which provides a silhouette – adding definition to the portrait. The finishing touch is a mock picture frame in the same colour card.