Notes on my Illustrations by laylya b.

The Cover Illustration: Let's open the magic box! First I'll tell you a few secrets about this magazine's Nick graphics. Don't be diappointed: At the beginning I behave like a thief: The cover picture is a composition of things I've stolen somewhere else.

The initial idea usually comes from photos of Nick - caps, scans, promo photos. I can't draw one single line without a photo as a model. For the zine cover I used a screenshot of the film "Impossible Elephant". The first impressions of the movie were given by Sophie Raven - the photo that I used later was sent to me particularly by kand.

I like fashion graphics and I took the challenge to draw Stephen's ribbed dark blue pullover - the one he wore when he announced that the elephant has to move to another zoo. So many ribs! But that was not the only difficulty: I had to model his chest somehow out of them.

My point is: I feel attracted by architecture. Don't laugh! When I was 16 I left school and became an apprentice in an architecture studio - I went back to school a year later but that construction designer thing has settled down in my head. What has remained is a certain accuracy which became kind of a trademark for my vectorgraphics. And there's less difference in the construction of a building from the construction of a chest than you think!

The elephant was a screencap from Sophies Nick Lea 2000 Homepage. I liked the sitting position and the hold up forelegs. The only problem was: The small elephant girl had taken back her ears! So I rummaged in my clipart collections and found one frontal portait of a grown-up animal. I had to cut off the face and the other parts of the image, adjust the size for babies, give it a touch of perspective and then paste it into my own drawing.

How should I combine it with Stephen? The first idea was: The elephant big and grey in the background and Stephen in front. But it didn't look good. Okay, his pullover is black-blue but he's not that colorful to build a good contrast to a vivid elephant background... I remembered the flying scene - there were sparks spraying out of its feet. I decided to use small stars and diminish the size of the elephant - thanks to vectorgraphics no problem. The advantage of this solution was that Stephen had an object to look at - instead of staring into the void.... And - hey! - an elephant that can fly can also change it's size!

The background was something I've seen somewhere else. I've stolen the whole color concept. After the grey elephant background I felt the strong need for one or two bright colors.

The title logo of the zonezine is generated by a perspective script. (Corel contains a few scripts - like photoshop action scripts). I thought the name zonezine cried for a more jagged kind of lettering. And I thought the font looks good in combination with the stars.

Illustration for Pics "Tide":

What struck me most was the Sleepless!Krycek nostalgia of the story. Some old screenshots were still somewhere on my hd. I liked the shaven "white-shirt-with-a-tie" look of that (horrible quality) cap I found on the internet years ago. His face expression during that telephone call was unreadable - but he looked gorgeous! And the photography of that FBI office scene interested me: it was dark in the foreground and bright in the areas behind Krycek. That was exactly what I needed for my composition.

The moment that had to be shown was when Krycek had to decide: Should he return into the light - with Scully who had already turned towards the light and was looking back longingly but already suspiciously - or should he go into the darkness forever. His blank face leaves it open if he even has the ability to decide or not.

Gillian Anderson was taken from an earlier x-files promo pic. She looked hyper-attractive with that certain slightly disapproving touch that belongs so much to her role - or at least I see her that way.

The headline is created with a font that was specially created for cartoons. I added a shadow because the background had a perspective. The use of that "light concept" was a bit delicate because usually it's bright in front and dark in the background.

Illustration for Sebastian's "Maņana":

Mulder meets Stephen and he recognizes: This is not Krycek! I was interested to show that moment when Mulder again is confronted with the situation that his search has led him to a certain result but not the one he had expected.

This was the first time I had to draw DD and I had one big problem with him: I did not dare draw his nose as big as it is in reality! I thought he looked ugly then... Or I failed miserably in giving him the right "look-and feel". I've found an old screenshot of Mulder - I think it's FTF - where he looked desperate enough for my intentions.

Stephen is drawn after a screencap from Sophie, she posted them in the NickPics mailing list. I liked this one particularly because Stephen has some kind of high energy emotional expression that I wanted to use. Sad? Mourning? In a dilemma? Reproachful? One can imagine that there are important things happening behind that beautiful forehead.

Matching to that uncomfortable situation I've chosen a winterly landscape as background image. My first thought was to use a cemetery but then I refrained from it. It was too meaningful - and simply too much graphic stuff. I've stolen the bushes and added a sort of pine-tree green. (I felt a bit relieved when I read in my corel draw Wow!Book that it's sometimes smarter to use a ready-made clipart and alter it than to do everything for yourself. So even professionals do it!) Then I decided to take an "optimistic" sky above the depressing and cold colored scene. For the title I used a Manga font.

Vector graphics and computer drawing can be a very cold techno-art. What I'm trying to achieve is to upload the art with some highly emotional content. Combine construction with feelings. A face expression, a tension-loaded meeting, even body-parts and objects can be equipped with that tiny amount of more significance. Anyway, that's the aim - I'm still learning.