Creating Artwork for Performances

I’ve always had a passion for drama and performing, as well as art, so it was rather exciting to be asked to create the artwork for The Wind in the Willows, which would projected onto a book, to coincide with the performance.

Surprisingly, I had never read the book before, but learned more and more about it whilst working on it! The art that already is out there is incredible, so I certainly felt the pressure to make mine just as good.

I started by creating a piece of Rat and Mole in their boat, but found it was too artificial-looking and felt that it was out-of-place. I decided to leave it, and planned a new design, that would keep the same idea (Rat and Mole in their boat) but would make it more appealing and would make it fit with the theme of the book better.

“The First Attempt”

I would sketch out my design by hand, first, before scanning it onto my computer, to digitally ink and colour it, as I felt that the colouring would be easier and more appealing through digital media. However, I still liked the sketch-like images that I began with, so have since kept them.

“The Final Image”, drawn traditionally, and then coloured digitally.

This new design didn’t restrict the image to a square (as the original one did) and made it more child-like and sweet; a concept I wanted the images to have.

In the past, I have also explored animation for previous shows (Gypsy and Once Upon a Neverland), but this was the most challenging and rewarding of the three!

I thoroughly enjoyed this process, as it allowed for me to experiment with new mediums, and new techniques, and am both very excited to see my images come alive, on the stage, and am very grateful to be given this opportunity.

Aidan Loft