I enjoy the act of making art so much that sometimes I forget that sharing it is part of the process. I work away in my corner of a studio I share with some amazing women… making, making, making… I do it because I don’t know how not to, but on some level, I do it for other people. I harbor that fantasy of being “discovered”. I don’t care about being famous or anything, but don’t want the work to go unseen either.
So I make and I paint and I post. I update Facebook, Instagram, my website, Etsy and blog as a means of showing the world what I’m up to (and in hopes of making a living). And sometimes it works.
In August 2013, I received an e-mail from a woman who said she was a set buyer and that she had seen my website and would I be interested in having artwork in a feature film? To be honest, the skeptic in me thought it was a scam at first. I called her anyway and it was the real thing.
My phone call was brief and excited and plans were made. Within a week I was commissioned and working on a set of sketchbooks/journals for the film adaptation of Indianapolis author John Green’s bestselling novel, The Fault in Our Stars.
I’ve kept sketchbooks/journals for a very long time and because they are built up over time, it can take a year or more to complete each one, if you could ever really consider them complete. I somehow (magically, insanely, exhaustively) created three in four days and shipped them off to the set in Pittsburgh (for more on why this Indy-based film was shot in Pittsburgh, I give you Hugh Vandivier’s Sky Blue Window article here).
Samples from previous sketchbooks.
Much of what fills the pages is from the past ten or more years of my own sketchbooks. It made for a great opportunity to go back and see where I’d been artistically and mentally over a number of years. I loved every minute of this project!
I only generally know where to look for these books, I’m told they will be somewhere in the main character’s bedroom and you can be sure I’ll be on the look out for them in each of what’s sure to be many viewings. They may only be on screen for a brief moment, but I’ll know they’re there, and that’s good enough for me.
I’m happy to say that I have artwork in a movie, especially this movie, and hope to do something like this again. Seriously, go read the book and then let’s all go see The Fault in Our Stars when it comes out on June 6.
Trailer: 20th Century Fox | images copyright Kate Oberreich 2013/14