These illustrations are the visual narrative
of a children's book called The Place In My Head.
The initial story concept was written by a former
student who approached me about a collaboration.
After I completed the illustrations and our search for
representation and publishing became a labyrinth of
non responses, dead ends and little feedback he left the
project and (with his permission) I rewrote the story's words.
Five years of life, work, artwork and photography intervened
until one day last spring. I looked at the work again and decided
to give it another outing. That round of attempts at securing
representation (or garnering any commercial interest) for the
book proved fruitless. I once again abandoned the idea of this
project being seen by anyone outside of a few close friends.
It later occurred to me that many of the people who know me
never knew that this project ever existed and that felt very wrong.
The 17 months of intense work that went into creating this
visual world (from the first sketches on paper in January 2010 to the
final stroke of ink on illustration board in June 2011) would be wasted
if I only let the illustrations exist as a bunch of digital files on a disc
or a series of wrapped drawings in a portfolio at the back of a closet.
Below are the compositional pencil drawings that informed
the layout of the final illustrations above in ink and colored pencil.
Below are some 2010 - 2011 sketchbook pages
of side studies, details, random notes and other
annotations from the development of the illustrations.
All images by Christian Montone (2010 - 2011).
Many thanks to Louie Catizone for the initial storyline,
ideas, enthusiasm, energy, spirit and valuable visual input.