What you see here is how it all began - visually at least!
I needed a little girl, the right type of dishevelled, slightly grubby, completely normal little girl.
And a pretty princess!
The little girl came solely from my imagination as best I can recall...
The pretty princess came from:
Which now seems like a bizarre ad from a make-believe world! (She's a girl and she's wearing BLUE and she didn't make something PINK?!)
However, i'm slightly getting ahead of myself!
Before all this - there was the story - which sat in my head as broad strokes I couldn't quite mould into something quite right. Fortunately though, after thinking it through over many walks with the dog it gradually took shape and is what it now is.
But it started with this:
And it also started with this!
That's a baby! And it was on it's way!
The impending arrival of my very own human to raise in this world (I didn't know if it was to be a boy or a girl at this time) and the LEGO ad were the sparks of this story.
Specifically the thought that if that baby was going to be a girl, the media, magazines, advertising, all the stuff that gets in your face everyday was full of terrible things I felt I was going to have to protect that little girl from or definitely prepare her to face. Gone are the days in advertising where normal REAL looking freckly faced little girls in BLUE (gasp!) clothes get to build wonderful things with LEGO (in this case) using whatever colour they like...they have their own pink and purple girl LEGO so they can specifically build hair salons and shops and dainty cafes...and princess castles full of handsome princes.
Basically, I wanted to be sure she knew she could be whatever amazing things she wanted to be - girls don't just have to be pretty princesses!
And now, stepping down from my soapbox (coloured whatever colour I choose, thanks) - let's continue!
Once the story was in place and i'd dealt with minor narrative issues like "does it matter that the princess just appears and then disappears and there's absolutely no explanation as to where she comes from or goes?!" I was able to get on with the drawing side of things!
Above is my colour and tool chart for each character. While it's all digitally hand drawn, I had to keep track of the numerous brushes and pencils and watercolours I was using to bring this pair to life.
Also, as can be seen, inspiration can come from anywhere - hence the scanned in piece of a Parisian toy store's plastic shopping bag! It's colour scheme became the inspiration for the little girl's tights! (The rest of her ensemble was partially inspired by 'Desperately Seeking Susan' era Madonna).
So there you have it - by all means, don't get me wrong: absolutely feel free to be a pretty princess, just do it your way...and remember there's a great, big wide world of other possibilities out there when you're done!
Like LEGO really!...afterall, we all know it's only ever the thing on the box the first time you build it - after that it's whatever you dream up!
Oh, and one last thing...this dressing table!
It was in the book for a while on the first page (would've had the publishing details in it's mirror), then got the chop...so I thought i'd pop it here! Lovely and all, but just not
necessary in the end.