James Ross

BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation - Canterbury


For my final project, I wanted to make a picture book, that would centre around the image of a natural tiger in the wild, in its natural state, and communicate an animal narrative rather than a human one.  I created imagery, and wrote my own poetry in the Japanese ‘haiku’ form, using its most contained structure of 3 lines and 17 syllables.  This was balanced with a loose painterly style for the imagery, achieved by painting large-scale using acrylic, and thick brushstrokes; and developing a loose ‘organic’ font I designed to reflect the natural shape and movement of the tiger’s stripes.

The title of my book, Hiyaku, means ‘leap’ in Japanese and follows the loose detached fragments of a tiger’s memory and subconscious.  Each memory is reflected via a coupling of haiku and image –  which in its true tradition and nature, captures a single moment in time, no end or beginning, and not necessarily having to be interpreted, or form a collective whole.  The first ‘memory’ begins with a tiger called Arina, whom I met at a zoo in Canterbury, and then concludes, if you like, with the vision of Arina returning to her native Nepal.

This project gave me the opportunity to expand on my digital illustration skills by incorporating traditional textures such as acrylic, watercolour, ink and wax pastel, and to explore typography design.  Below is a pdf version of the book, with some final digital images of both A3 and A4 versions of the book in its physical form.

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James Ross | Illustration 5
Hiyaku A3 and A4 books, with end paper backdrop.
James Ross | Illustration 6View pdf
Hiyaku 'Leap'.
James Ross | Illustration 4
Hard back perfect bound - A3 cloth wrap-around, and A4 full paper wrap-around.
James Ross | Illustration 3
End papers.
James Ross | Illustration 2
End paper.
James Ross | Illustration 1
Title page.
James Ross | Illustration
Image & haiku 8.