The Sketchbook Project

Starting 12/2019, I started working on a sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project which will be sent in to the Brooklyn Art Library before August 2020.

The theme I’ve selected is the REDEEMING GRACE TRILOGY which I am in the process of editing and self-publishing.

So if you’re like me and enjoy visuals as much (or more) than prose, please enjoy the visual preview of my debut trilogy!

“Gabriel and Gracie walk into a nebula”

The cover of the sketchbook is inspired by Gabriel and Gracie Usuriel. As an original colonist to the new planet, Cybele, Gabriel once traveled among the stars. His daughter, Gracie, wonders what it would have been like to spend one hundred years in deep space. Gabriel, however, doesn’t like to discuss anything that happened before Gracie was born.

I wanted to put this on the cover because Gabe and Gracie’s relationship is the foundation of this story. With the nebula, I wanted to set the tone – highly saturated colors go to Gracie’s dramatic narrative voice and the space theme indicates the futuristic, sci-fi elements of the settings.

Gracie’s world was shattered when the government declared her mother ‘unfit’ and placed her in a group home for orphaned and abandoned children.

I wanted to begin the sketchbook in the same place the novel begins – with Gracie’s early childhood abandonment. This trauma informs many of the critical decisions she makes as an adult.

The content of Gabriel’s character is often in debate and he’s been referred to in terms that would make a grizzled crewman blush. However, no one has ever called him ugly.

Am I slightly obsessed with drawing this pretty boy? Possibly…

Gloria and D’nay are Gabriel’s eternally youthful parents. Their love for each other is evident in everything they do.

There’s always something satisfying about drawing their cuteness.

When Gracie comes to live with her father, he brings her to Angelus Quietum. The isolated ranch is nestled beside Lake Angelus – an ideal setting for raising a young firebird far from prying eyes.

I can envision this setting more clearly than any other in the trilogy. It is the heart of Gabriel and Gracie’s life; a safe haven they run back to when the outside world becomes too much.

Gabriel’s mechanical heart is a scar from his ancient trauma aboard the Generation Ship Inspiration.

I find something beautiful in Gabriel’s flaws. They are a part of what make him fragile and vulnerable, despite his unworldly abilities.

Gracie’s relationship with her fire is one of constant tension. She resents it for the isolation and suspicion it brings, and yet also embraces the status and abilities it conveys.

Here I wanted to portray the helplessness she feels as her fire begins to manifest. Like everything else in Gracie’s life, her fire is too powerful and unpredictable to ever completely control.

Family is a universal trait. We all need to feel that we belong somewhere, with someone. It doesn’t matter if our family is by blood or by friendship, we all need people who make us feel safe and at home.

Gracie grows and transformed through out the Redeeming Grace trilogy. In Child of Awareness (Book 1) we get to see her go from a frightened child to a confident teen who is almost ready to take flight. This drawing is how I envision Gracie at age 16.

Gracie’s mysterious sister, Ariel, is a critical part of her journey. Here I’ve drawn her with the strange vial she leads Gracie to during the climax of Child of Awareness.

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