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The Otter's Ransom

i chose otters as an inspiration for my piece, thinking that it would be a light-hearted and engaging animal to use. however after a bit of research, the story that i'm illustrating ends up being rather dark. the title of the piece, 'the otter's ransom', refers to a section of the volsunga saga from Norse mythology. Otr - who takes on the form of an otter - had caught fish by the riverbank and was napping in the sun when he was bludgeoned to death by Loki.

for inspiration i looked both at otters as well as different styles of nordic art:

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in starting sketches i looked at different styles of drawing an otter, as well as incorporating otter and otter habitat into the lettering:

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24 august: i like the way that all of the elements of the story were captured in the inked drawing, and am now working with that image to develop lettering styles and layouts.

ok, i got suuuuper distracted with the inked piece and illustrator (just learning illustration as well as the adobe suite) and made this:

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now that that's out of my system i'm going back to the lettering and exploring the idea of using the tail of the otter from one of my very first sketches to set the rhythm and cadence of the lettering in order to capture the fluidity. hoping to have sketches up in the next day or two!

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