The first steps toward the creation of any book can be difficult to take. The material, no matter how inspiring, will not have been digested. With Equus my initial scribblings were all in a single, small sketchbook. Given the way the edition turned out, it’s interesting to look back and see how many of the initial impressions made it through to the final work. These are very rough drawings… aesthetic wasn’t a consideration at this stage… so be forgiving as you view them.
The collage at the top of this post is not from the sketchbook, but was a ‘mood’ piece made immediately after the sketchbook had been finished. A first attempt to imagine how I wanted the book’s images to appear stylistically. It was made from monotypes I’d printed specifically for the purpose, snipped and pasted into an equine death’s-head with bridle, bit and reins. The images as they eventually evolved for the book were drawn rather than made from collage, but I strove to reproduce a comparable quality of dense texture by using bristle brushes and sgraffito in addition to steel nibs and glass pens for the ‘line’ elements.