Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper

Coming up for the whole month of February 2019 – flash fiction!

What am I talking about? Well, I’ve done another illustration project for the online literary magazine Fictive Dream, which specializes in the short story. You may remember my pen and ink drawings for September Slam 2018 – I illustrated a week’s worth of short stories.

Fictive Dream Dear Damien full size 8-18 #2 adjusted text small

Now to the present! At Fictive Dream, next month is Flash Fiction February 2019 – twenty-eight days of short short stories. My part in the event? I did a small abstract painting (about 11.5 inches wide and about 7.25 inches tall) for each story. I’ll be showing one of them to you each day to accompany the story on Fictive Dream.

Here is a little background. Back in late fall 2018, Laura Black, editor of Fictive Dream, asked me if I’d like to do the project. She had in mind a different look from September Slam. Flash fiction packs a lot into an economical number of words, and the art needed to reflect this idea – she was looking for abstract art that depicted an overview of the story, rather than a drawing of a scene or a moment, as I had done for the Slam.

All right, I said. After considering the technical requirements, such as size, and after creating a banner to be used in each piece, I got to work. Following my usual method, I made a couple (and sometimes more) pieces for each story. I like to give Laura a choice, for one thing.

And I just do better work when I give myself permission not to invest everything into one image. I can always start over and do another, if I am not satisfied. Somehow that idea, that there is always another chance, frees my mind to work.

Plus, though each story was very short, that brevity did not translate into an author having little to say. Certainly not. In the complexity of each story, I found more than one way in, visually. I read every story several times, made notes, and sketched out ideas. Laura also gave me her impressions. With this preparation, I was able to translate elements of each story into visual images.

image 2 fictive dream 12-3-18 20192

All right. Throughout the next month I will discuss different aspects of the project as the ideas occur to me. I will post the illustration for the story of the day and provide a link to Fictive Dream so that you can read the story yourself and see what you think of the two together, words and image.

I also want to thank Laura for her faith in my work and for the unfailing support and freedom she gave me in doing this work. I loved this project and it was due in great part to her generosity and willingness to let me find my own way while providing a structure for me to work within.

The art in this post represents some of the pieces that were not chosen. So you’ve got a little flavor of what is in store. I hope you will come along with me for Flash Fiction February 2019.