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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Hello! I chose the book "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts. The letter I will be working on is "R." Here is all my work from brainstorming to finished piece. 

Brainstorming: I tried to follow Jessica's advice of writing down any and everything that came into my head, regardless of it had to do with the book or not. It felt a little bizarre at first, but then it was fun once I got into it. 

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For my sketches, I focused on a couple different themes. 

  1. Gateway of India: Since this is a monument in Mumbai (where a majority of the book takes place), I thought it would be cool to somehow incorporate it into the letter. It overlooks the Arabian Sea.
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  2. Indian design elements: Since a majority of the book takes place in India, I thought about incorporating Indian design elements in the letter. Like designs/patterns from inlay work pieces, clothing, lotuses, etc. 
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  3. Script + twist/turns: Since this book has a lot of twists and turns, I thought about having a lot of swirls around the letter. I also wanted to try a more script like style.
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  4. Prison bars: The main character in the book escapes from prison in Australia and then ends up in Mumbai, India. So, I wanted to try and incorporate this prison element in the letter.
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Final choice: Prison bars sketch

I chose to go with the prison bars sketch. As I was going through the drawing process, I came up with doing barb wire on the left hand side (to represent the prison), the middle design and arrows represent a compass because the main character travels from Australia to India and Afghanistan and back, and the bear in the middle is there because one part of the book talks about the main character helping a bear in the slums.

I went through and decided on the colors red, yellow and white and red, yellow and gold. In a dream scenario, the gold color would be done in gold foil! The gold color looks a little flat right now without that shine. These colors are representative of India, where a majority of the book takes place, with a rich deep red and marigold yellow.

Red, yellow and white

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Red, yellow and gold

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This was an awesome class, and I really liked Jessica's approach of doing the research, brainstorming, sketching and then final product. It is tempting to skip steps - but don't do it. It's worth the effort when you accomplish the final piece!

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