Speed of the Dark

Over the past year I have been working on illustrating a children's book written by Patrick Swidler. The book is about a boy named Mike who wishes to beat the speed of light, so works to build a rocket ship to help him do that.  The story takes place in the 1950s, and as a fan of the look of that period, I had a great time designing the characters, costumes and setting to look like it belonged to that period.


One of the most interesting challenges I had was creating the rocket ship in multiple views. To do this, I made a model out of a foam toy football.  I created a model of the dome of the ship with a half a Christmas ornament and some clay. I also created a model of the main character out of clay, so I could visuals him in multiple views.

I tried many versions of a rocket ship, but ultimately settled on a design that a boy would create.  The ship I envisioned was made of different parts, including pieces of tin cans. It was fun designing the products that these bits of can would come from.  I was, however, quite sick of painting rivets by the end of the project. 

Since this is a time travel story, the author and I decided to pay homage to the movie "Back to the Future". In almost every illustration is a subtle reference to that movie.

The entire project was painted in acrylic paint, with some further digital manipulation in Photoshop. The book can be purchased on Amazon in both English and a bilingual Spanish/English version.

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