Exercise 12: Choosing content

Brief #1: For the first part of this exercise, I had to read an extract from the Daffodil affair and answer a q&a.

Below are the questions and my answers:

• If this were to be made into a film what would the main character be like?

I believe that the main character would be the man that this extract describes: a man who is no longer a human being but a walking figure dominated by anger. Therefore, I imagine him never being able to laugh, as hilarious as something would be, he would never crack a laugh or smile. Because he would perceive everything through the eyes of anger. Due to this fact, he was destined to be a lonely man, not because he consciously chose it this way, but because he was incapable of letting someone deeply care for him and create a stable connection. The most consistent interaction he had in his life was with his secretary and the waiter that pored him coffee every day at the coffee shop on his way to work.
In summary, the main character would be a lonely, serious, but always polite male whose main trait was the hanger that consumed him.

• What clothes would the character be wearing?

His clothes would always be a dark suit (usually black) in concordance to his personality, and they would always be perfectly ironed. At the same time, he would always wear a dark hat that created a shadow that covered half of his expressionless face. None the less he carried his briefcase everywhere he went.

• What furniture is in the main area in which the action takes place?

As the extract describes it, I imagine the place as a simple yet cold environment. At the exact center of the large windows, he placed a table that was the perfect place between the door and the glass that overlooked the city. It also had a nice chair yet not the most comfortable he could find, because he considered that the workplace was no space to relax and feel at home, it was a place to work. Finally, there was a tiny lamp on top of his desk that he would rarely turn on. There was no decoration or visually pleasing elements, just a simple, clean, and professional environment.

Brief #2: Next, I was asked to gather some reference images from the time that the book is set.  I made a mood board of uniforms, surroundings and interiors taken from the extract:

Brief #3: Then I was asked to create a visual board using colores and textures that represented a word of my choice: “lifeless”. I choose this word because personally, I define living life by enjoying and perceiving its beauty, its charisma, spending time with our loved ones, experiencing new things, being curious, laughing, crying, dancing, … Which are all actions that I don’t think our main character would do.

This is my mood board:

Brief #4: Then I had to create a simple portrait of the main character using the references I gathered. And I decided to make it through a collage of the pictures that I choose for the previous brief.


#1: I used this picture as my base
#2: I started by removing everything except the shiluete I needed, and I decided to work with the male figure that was in the background.
#3: Then I choose this image for the view outside of the window, it is a photograph of London during WW II.
#4: I started placing it and creating a window
#5: Then I added the male figure.
#6: Then I finished the window
#7: Then I changed the shadow in the hat andI added some shadows so that everything blended together, since the light source was coming from his right side (though the window).
#8: Creating more contrast with the dark shadows.
#9: Adding some light reflection to the figure to further intensify the contrast.
Final illustration
This is what the illustration would look as a book cover.


I am impressed of how much you can deeply use a reference text to create an idea and then use it to create a portrait. I really enjoyed this process and I am pleased with the final illustration I created. I truly enjoyed writing about the main character because I love imagining a literary story and developing the personality of its characters.

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