García Márquez often cites this particular story with delight: An elderly Soviet woman had copied out the entire text of the One Hundred Years of Solitude word by word, in order to make sure that she had really read what she had read. For me, it was the same story. I had to hand-paint the novel, dot by dot, in order to make sure it was real.
As a creator with a background in literature & translation, works of fiction are my primary sources of inspiration. In this particular collection, I try to translate novels I love (+ one of my own story collections) into the realm of images. Here is how and why. Painting these images is a way for me to own the fictional worlds I cherish. So after re-reading a given novel, I make a list of images that resonate with me and are essential to the construction of the narrative. Then I begin illustrating every single item in my notebook.
I sometimes make these images from scratch and sometimes adopt works of other artists (eg. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in OYS). Then I begin putting them together, rearranging them over and over until I reach the right composition. The next step is the most satisfying and time-consuming of all. I color the drawings with a magic marker, DOT by DOT. I take it slow because if I rush it, the paint would not be as clean and unified.
I take pictures of the work as I advance and test-paint on Photoshop along the way. I do this simply because if anything goes wrong at this stage, there would be no turning back. This is why doing each painting takes months. After coloring is over, I start stippling with black ink as the sole means of creating shades and bright spots.
Once I’m pleased with the end result, I take the painting to my friend’s studio and digitalize the artwork. I might do some digital tweaks afterward, but they are normally very minor (something like intensifying the blue in the Chiquita logo in OYS).