So there's a major project I've been working on in between things for awhile now, and I guess haven't mentioned here yet. So, here's the exciting news: This Summer, I'm helping illustrate a field guide of medicinal plants found in Madagascar!
Here's how this came about. During my first year in Madagascar, there was a guy in my banking town doing research and living there off and on. (By "banking town" I mean a bigger town about a 2-hr bike ride away from my village, where I stocked up on phone credit, did my banking, and filled up on protein and beer.) When I got home, we became facebook friends (naturally). Last winter, he mentioned on his facebook, that he'd gotten a grant from "Nat Geo" (meaning National Geographic - I didn't put this together at first, but was pretty stoked when I did) to make this field guide, and was in search of illustrators. In the end, they chose me and one other guy to bring to Mada to work on the project! 240 illustrations total, meaning we each have to complete 120. That's a lot! So for the last couple months, we've been working on getting a jump start on some of the illustrations. Right now, we've been working from photos, drawing and painting everything digitally in Photoshop. When we get there, we'll actually get to go out in the forest and find, photograph and sketch the plants ourselves. Here's a small sample of what I've been working on so far:
I'm still pinching myself that I get to go back to Madagascar this Summer. If you're a Peace Corps Volunteer, you know that living as the only westerner for miles, integrated into the community through learning the language, making friends, cooking, working, laughing along side people, for 2 YEARS..... it becomes a second home. I can't wait to go back and see the individuals and families that I became close with over there. AND, my parents and sister are going to come visit me for the second half of my time over there!!!! I can't wait to show them what an incredible country it is. So anyways, part of the point of this post is to just say that I won't be posting here from mid-June to August. I have a few more weeks of work here though, so I'll post a few more kids art lessons, and say goodbye before I go ;)