My first idea was to create my own story and illustrate it, but I didn't want to overload myself with work, or have it fall down on the lack of strength in the written narrative. I have enjoyed working with existing, accomplished texts in the past, and so started looking at stories by Oscar Wilde, Hans Christian Anderson and others of the same era, since I have had an interest in these fairy tale like narratives. I decided on The Snow Queen - probably Anderson's best known story after The Little Mermaid and certainly his longest, with seven small chapters.
The story is about the relationship between two friends, a boy (Kay) and girl (Gerda), who live next door to each other. Kay is taken by the Snow Queen, and Gerda goes after him, determined to bring him home. My first thought upon deciding this was that it is a story that has been illustrated many times before, and I would need to approach it differently to make my work stand out. I feel like I'm constantly battling to create depth in my images and making them 3D would combat this problem very directly and make it a continual consideration. Considering the story's length, there are many themes and intricacies that I can play with, and it was for this reason that I want to make stage-like sets of layered images for each chapter. I can photograph them (in whole or in part) to be put together with the text, hopefully to be used as a book, or they could be the final resolution by themselves.
With this in mind, I started to look at silhouettes and stage sets and artists who work in 3D, especially those for whom children are their target audience. I have also considered how to render the images that will be displayed in my 'sets' and have looked at artists such as Lucy Dalzell and Christina Hagerfors for examples of energetic drawings and collage. Samuel Bell's colourful style of collage would lend itself well to 3D work, as shown in the ambitious work of Owen Rimington and Hattie Newman. Here they are.