Bryson Kaps BFA Illustration Thesis Spring 2017
Pits of Agartha
For my thesis I have combined elements of illustration with elements of creative writing. For the first portion of my project I wrote a sixty-page novella. It consist of a fictional narrative centered around both dark narratives and gothic horror. My focus for the last four months has been illustrating and visually defining the characters and environments for my story; which is titled “The Pits of Agartha”. The themes were influenced by my love of classical horror tropes, fused with my interest in written fiction, nautical history, and maritime culture. I was primarily fueled to create this collection of characters and illustrations in order to solidify a creative vision, and share it. It displays my detailed love for dark storytelling and classical literature, as well as embracing deeper, more philosophical and modern meanings. The art itself represents my personal style with a mixture of pen and ink line work and digital color. With a touch of mysticism and alchemy, the novella I have written takes on the form of a cautionary tale, baring the dangers of unchecked experimentation, and the immediate ecological crisis we face in the treatment and destruction of our own world. I used pen lifework and used digital media to create an underlying layer of washes and mid tones, to give each of the more prominent depth and to reference the sepia coloring of older photograph and film. This, along with the paper textures I used in these illustrations, were implemented to give the finished products more viability as references to older and more traditional media. I’ve done this to unify the illustrations with their source material, much the same as the novella I have written. As they’re both meant to pay homage and remind the audience of its direct inspiration, and my gothic horror influences.