Week 2: Story Preparation

Story Summary

My chosen novel of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson has now been condensed and I’ve chosen to use 8 stanzas on 8 spreads.

My process was to read the book and make about 30 pages of notes with the most meaningful and poetic phrases. I then chose 8 vivid scenes in chronological order to focus on, and wrote arrhythmic (rhyming + unrhyming) stanzas for the spreads.

My notes:


These stanzas are composed of paraphrasing Thompson’s prose, along with an element or two of my own thrown in (ie Karmageddon). I completely mixed up the prose outside of the chronological order to tell the story from an inner journey, while showing the outer journey through illustration. Some scene setting was required to focus the reader on what was happening, a link between inner and outer to balance the piece. During this process, I found many repetitive elements throughout the novel and have used most of these at least once in my retelling, to add the genuine ribbons of author thought into the piece.

I found this a hard task to do, but very satisfying in being able to tell the story from the perspective of a lost quest for utopia.

My text (still deciding the title of my book):



Here is my first moodboard. As I’m leaning towards Indian ink as a medium for illustration, I made a moodboard with the techniques I have learned about (straw blowing, painting, water painting, scratching, blotting, flicking). I still may potentially include beetroot juice as well as black Indian ink, but will know after experimentation in creation.


My second moodboard covers the essential elements for illustration that I don’t know enough about – sights around Las Vegas that I need to know the shape of, for illustrations.


Thirdly, I made a moodboard of beetroot juice stampings, other two-coloured ink illustrations and some more techniques with salt and paper soaking.




I am still thinking about whether to include the whole scene in illustrations, or a mix of whole scenes with essential elements of scenes. The storyboard helps me in regard to focusing the chronological order of the story and the main illustrative elements I will follow as I develop the book. I’m looking at having white and black pages to add interest. I may also split up certain stanzas, though there will only be one large illustration across each spread. At this point, I’m looking at a landscape composition.


I also bought some toys in preparation for the weeks ahead (thanks Toni from Deans Art on St Georges Road for all your help and advice!)


Week 1: Choosing A Story

Our requirement in this unit is to reconceptualise a story. I have chosen to reconceptualise “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S Thompson. I’m familiar with this subject material, having watched the movie a few times and own the book (a rare Ebay acquisition).

Many ideas about how this could be done are coming forth. So many illustrative possibilities! I’m looking to create an adult booklet and thinking about some sort of subversive, arrhythmic poetry. Potential illustrative techniques include dead ant compositions, smoke art, beetroot juice and charcoal drawing/painting combinations or even ink abstract.

I think I’m going to have fun with this project, mostly because I’m going to be personally paying a lot for the book to be published, so don’t want it to be cr*p. Watch this space for more action in coming weeks…