Mermay writing & illustrating challenge - part 1
Back in 2020 I joined in the #mermay Instagram art challenge (where you can follow prompts, or just go rogue and share your mermaid-inspired pieces using the hashtag through the month of May.) At the time we were in peak lockdown and my daughter and granddaughter were staying with us. I created a mermaid character inspired by my granddaughter Layla-Rose, named Lae. In Layla's defence she's not quite as feral and ferocious as Lae, but she has a wonderful untamed side to be sure.
As I take a break from my first graphic novel, MoJo, and wait for some more rejections on my first round to agents (you can read all about my journey and approach on my Patreon) I'm going to do some groundwork on what will be my next writing project.
I have a loose outline of what I think the story is, but I want to use #mermay to get to know Lae a bit more, which will inevitably help me when I come to actually write the story.
It will be another mid-grade graphic novel with an LGBTQ element as I'm invested in more representation. Despite the main character being a mermaid, this story won't be fantasy-based.
I'm going to set a plan for the month (which I will share beforehand). However, my next step will be to revisit the overall design of Lae and Kit, her spotted dogfish friend, and create some character sheets. I'll then share my plan and overall goal for May. I will report back shortly!
Meanwhile, these are some of the Lae sketches I've made over the last 2 years:
This was the first-ever sketch of her painted up:
I like to think my work has developed a lot since painting this and I'm really excited to apply that to her design.
If you're interested in what I'm hoping will be my debut writing journey, you can hop on over to my Patreon and learn more about MoJo. I discuss everything, including the inspiration, character development, editing process and my present agent submission attempts! My Patreon is a space I will focus on developing, and sharing more of my work as a freelance illustrator and wannabe author.
Set to the backdrop of two friends on a dangerous and magical adventure through a post-apocalyptic world of mythical creatures, deadly mushrooms, and shape-shifting deities, MoJo is a bittersweet yet humorous exploration of grief and friendship between a young witch called Mo and their sharp-tongued animal familiar, Jo.
You can follow along with my challenge on my Instagram.