Norton the Mouse is a little character of mine that I created in June 2008. I was trying to regularly participate in Illustration Friday (Each week they post a topic, and illustrators and artist from around the world post their art based on the topic). I thought I would pick one character, and use him to illustrate the topic every week. And WALLA, Norton the mouse was born.
The illustrations I created from the topics weren’t actually chronologically part of a story. Instead, I would take the word, and create a scene that stood on its own, but left a little bit of mystery as well. This worked really well…for a few weeks, until I got too busy to keep up with IF. And Norton went into hibernation. Or hiding perhaps.
Then one day, my stepmother handed me a book about the life and art of the fabulous Beatrix Potter. She said that my art reminded her of Potter, which is one of the coolest compliments I have received. I spent the night reading through the book, and drooling over Potter’s sketchbooks. One part of her story that jumped out at me was that Peter Rabbit was actually birthed from a story letter that she wrote to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of her last governess. This wormed its way into my brain, and wouldn’t go away.
A few days latter, Norton suddenly appeared again in my sketchbook, guided again by topics from Illustration Friday. So I decided to follow in the footsteps of the lovely Miss Potter, and turned my sketches into mailable art. I simply photocopied the drawings onto brown card stock, and with a stamp and an address, mailed them off to my two beautiful nieces: Danielle and Alexa.
Having an audience (captive or otherwise) has always been a great motivator for me to get things done. I don’t know if an actual story will emerge from this little experiment. I’d like to keep each card able to stand on its own, separate from each other, yet also went put together, COULD make an over arcing story. I have a feeling that Norton will keep popping his nose into my sketchbook for a while.
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The Postcard Gallery: