Every illustration project has it’s own journey, I thought I might share a bit about this one…

I’d been wanting to do something with mixed media for a while – something with collage and natural fibres. I’d imagined a handmade book, lovely to hold with a gentle story nestled within its pages. When the Trimmings Comp arrived it was an irresistible opportunity. I’m a huge fan of Carly and Amy’s work. Their fabric is beautifully designed and they have an uncanny ability to choose perfect palettes.

The gorgeous images above gave me an inspiration-fueled start. So by the time my pack arrived all I could see within the clear envelope was a beautiful, somewhat deconstructed kite. And when I saw Rebecca‘s lovely piecing I knew exactly the form it would take. Cutting and assembling all those little pieces was incredibly relaxing (Clever gal that Rebecca! )

When it came to the book design, I decided on a concertina fold because each double page could be read as a mini story and the whole book could still be opened out to reveal an overall connection. I also wanted to play with both sides of the paper, changing an assumption formed on one side by a quick flip to the other.

When it came to the story, the kite was my ending but what I needed was the rest. It turned out the story solution was right under my nose but all my over-thinking made it invisible to me. After an insane week of ‘going no where fast’ I stopped, remembered the importance of simplicity and finally listened to my gut. I focused on the simplest idea and suddenly the little details could breathe.

I learnt a lot on this one – I dabbled in the craft of bookbinding, learnt heaps about glue,  percentages of colour and the power in a shot of neon. I got stuck trying to score and fold watercolor paper that was too thick for a crisp fold and was bailed out by the good advice of a friend. But whatever challenges it brought up I loved every minute of it and would do it again in an instant!

Thank you all for the amazing feedback, I’m more thrilled than you could imagine! Thank you Carly and Amy for such a fun opportunity, truly it’s impossible not to make something lovely with your fabrics. Best of luck to everyone who entered! Please vote for your favourites here.

Images | Kites, Hey Andre! Happy Kids Kites, CubaGallery |  Stitching by a sunny window, Rebecca Sower | All other images, Alisa Coburn | To view larger or for licencing click on image titles. Images are subject to copyright.  


11 thoughts on “Sharing

  1. Alisa, I just love this… this little book of yours just about takes me breath away. And lovely to discover your blog!

  2. That was so fabulous! I love reading about process, particularly when such an outstanding piece is the subject 🙂 Good luck Alisa! Kx

  3. hello. i came across your blog from the entries page on pinterest. your book is soooooooo beautiful, i wish it lived with me. your illustrations of the quilters reminded me very much of sophie blackall’s work. then i looked further on your blog only to see that you love her work too. you have my vote! best of luck.

  4. Oh its so lovely to hear more about your inspiration and story. I love so many things about it right down to the flouro orange (Flamingo) Kite tails I recognise as one of the single lines in our spiral print. Could look at your book for hours!xxx

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