Anansi and Firefly Calendar Project by Peta-Ann Smith

You need to have a calendar to stay up to date. Today, we bring you a unique design of a calendar created by a Jamaican illustrator, Peta-Ann Smith. Lets read on and find it out. Enjoy

About ‘Anansi and Firely’:
‘Anansi and Firely’ was done for an international calender project back in late 2013, in which twelve selected countries were asked to submit an illustrated scene from their respective local folklore for the 2014 release. An additional challenge was to do two versions of the scene in order to produce an Augmented Reality effect once printed. The project was launched by Warpstyle CreNative (WC) in Japan, and I had been approached to illustrate for Jamaica by The Emergency Room Designs and Technology (TERDT), a design company owned and operated by a creative acquaintance.

In Jamaica, many traditional stories feature Anansi the spider, who is often portrayed as a sly trickster. A brief search turned up a story where he’s invited egg-hunting by Firefly, with the understanding that Firefly’s light would expose the eggs hidden in the grass and that they’d share the bounty. Well, Anansi had other ideas and grabbed each eggs on sight, leaving none fore Firefly. Anansi would later get his comeuppance from a past victim of his tricks, and I had drawn a scene leading up to that, but the egg hunting scene was the one selected by the Japanese organisers.

– Peta-Ann Smith

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‘Anansi and Firefly’ Process:
After pursuing the story, I made some rough digital settings of the tale’s key scenes and sent them off to TERDT, who sent them off to WC. After WC made their selection, I drew the scene properly using paper and Col-Erase pencils. Not that I have anything against regular pencils, but using the Col-Erase made the drawing look more likely (to me, anyway) and the pencils didn’t smudge as they would have with ordinary graphite. Since I planned to scan the drawing, neatness was important.

Once the drawing was completed and scanned, I coloured it digitally using Photoshop. I had intended to ink it, which was another reason I used Col-Erase pencils to draw it, but decided against it in the interest of time. To make the ‘before’ version of the scene (where Anansi’s bag is empty and Firefly is happy), I drew Firefly’s expression and arm positions on a piece of paper, scanned and coloured them, then added them to a separate set of layers in the PSD files. Once everything was to TERDT and WC’s liking, the completed PSD files with unflattened layers were sent off.

Working on this project was both a fun and educational experience for me. It was the first time I had worked with an international client, even if it was through a local company, and I hadn’t participated in an international creative assignment like this before. Plus, it reconnected me with a part of my culture that I hadn’t focused on in years.

– Peta-Ann Smith

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About Peta-Ann Smith

Peta-Ann Smith is a Jamaican illustrator who works from the city/region of Kingston and lives there all her life. In addition to illustration, she also dabble in graphic design, a bit of writing, and learning web coding. She’s a jack of all trades who is just a lover of learning and exploring other creative outlets.