Since the book's publication, I've been asked who this woman was. To be honest, I had no one in particular in mind. I just wanted to depict someone before a crowd inspiring them with something from literature. Feel free to assign an actual person to this image.
You can probably tell I like drawing crowds.
The bird is used in a slightly different way here. He's more of a dove, which represents peace. I'm hoping this woman's oratory is inspiration for harmony and nonviolence, which I can't imagine anyone having a problem with.
On an art note, I started to work digitally about 5 years ago, my first book done in this manner was Doug Unplugged. Looking back, I see that there is a lot more line work in this book than any other I've ever done (except perhaps my next book, Morris Mole).
I find that every few years my technique evolves or changes slightly, but I think my style, the way I draw, hasn't. Someone once said to me, "Once you hit on your style, you'll never lose it and if you do, it wasn't your style."
The ebook spread has probably changed the most out of all of the images from rough to final.
Now stories can be experienced all over the world through digital technology. Hundreds of stories (text, audio, visual) now can be carried in your pocket on a small device and you can enjoy them everywhere at any time.
Look how far story has come!
You'll notice how the image evolves from rough, to line drawing, to final art.
I wanted to give this image a more global feel by including people in various cultural dress. It's by far the most detailed and complicated, as well as having the most Photoshop layers. I'm sure this one took the longest to do.
So the last spread.
For me, it goes right back to the beginning. The oral tradition will never die, at least I hope it doesn't. You'll notice that the figures are in the same positions as the prehistoric family, including the dog, which has become a bit more domesticated.
In a sense, we still tell stories about the same things, over and over.
And I guess we'll never tire of hearing them. I know I won't.
You'll notice I changed the drawings of the astrological signs in the first spread to the actual constellations.
And there goes the bird, forever flying onto the future, inspiring man to move ever forward to tell stories to the next generation in a new way.
Next: The cover and final touches.