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Origins: Calamityware Plate 3

I captured some of my insights and discoveries during the creation of the first four Calamityware plates. I thought you might like a glimpse of the creative process so I decided to do a four-part Origins series for the Calamityware Blog. Here's how the sea monster plate came to be. Obviously, this also inspired the Sea Monster Jamboree print.



On a shopping trip to a fish market, I saw this impressive fish with an open mouth.


Since I was thinking about big fish, I drew my own version.


An article in The Wall Street Journal drew my attention to work by scholars studying the monsters that inhabit the empty spaces of early Renasissance maps.


Inspired, I spent many delightful days drawing my own collection of sea monsters.


Some of my favorites were new to cryptozoology.


But it’s hard to beat the uncomplicated drama of a really big fish with a really big mouth.


Drew a preliminary version of a Calamityware plate with a hungry fish and shared the drawing on my Flickr site.


Drew crisp versions of the temple and bridge to contrast with the hand-drawn quality of the monster. Added borders and refined a digital file for production as Calamityware plate 4. Ta da.


Comments on this post (1)

  • Mar 12, 2018

    Thank you for bringing us along on your design process!
    I love to follow along and see early sketches as much as the finished work and product.
    Did you use Illustrator (or equivalent vector program) to create the borders?

    — Pat

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