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Curiously Designed - The Magic Hour

The Magic Hour

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As you know I’ve been MIA the past few months in terms of working on my business and finishing the collection I started in the Immersion 2022 course.

Life got overwhelming. I couldn’t get motivated to draw so I worked on my garden. But Delaware has been experiencing a horrible heatwave this year and I’m afraid even my garden is going to have to fend for itself right now as my long lost companion “Fatigue” has decided to pay me a visit again. 

It happens from time to time…much more in my 30s when I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr. But I’ve been able to manage it for the most part but heat is a real trigger for me.

I’ve been working a little at a time on the collection (The Magic Hour) and realize one thing I never actually did was draw at least some of the illustrations for the actual book the collection is based on. I’m not certain if this will help me focus a bit more. But I’d like to try.

Below is a sketch for the first double layout for the book. And as I type that I realize I’ve never even talked about what the book is about or shared one thing about it. But first, the sketch…

The Story

Pg 4-5: Once a year, when the full moon rises over the pond just as the sun sets, all the pond’s creatures celebrate the end of a long hot summer’s day. This is a special time known as the magic hour.

Snail could see the sun rise over the distant pond and knew he had a long journey ahead of him in order to reach the pond by sunset.

Pg. 6-7: Everything was new to Snail. The things he saw were unusual… and amusing…. and amazing… and delightful… and beautiful.

Pg. 8-9: Snail made his way inch by inch, traveling further and further into the big open meadow. 

As the day wore on he began to feel the hot sun on his back. He knew too much sun was dangerous for him, so he rested under the shade of a dandelion leaf.

Pg. 10-11: But then, out of nowhere a giant hand parted the grass above him. Snail looked up to see two of the biggest creatures he had ever seen. He curled up into his shell trying to make himself as small as possible.

He was terrified when the furry one stuck his big nose under the dandelion leaf and sniffed. Snail laid very still until he heard them run away.

Pg 12-13: As he started on his way again, Snail felt a raindrop on the top of his head. He loved the rain and knew it was just what he needed to help him on his long journey. For the next few hours, a gentle rain fell across the meadow as Snail made his way closer to the pond.

Pg. 14-15: When the sun finally came out from behind the clouds, it made a beautiful rainbow. Even though too much sun was bad for Snail, he loved seeing the beautiful colors it made in the sky after a rain.

Pg 16-17:  The sun got lower and lower in the sky and Snail knew he was getting closer to the pond and the magic hour. As he made his way he found an odd place where all the plants grew in neat little rows. Snail sniffed one of the green curly leaves and took a bite. It was tender and yummy! As he ate more and more of his favorite new treat the sun sank lower and lower in the sky.

Pg. 18-19: Suddenly, a bird swooped down and grabbed Snail in one of its claws. Snail was carried up, up, up by the bird. He was too afraid to look down. The bird landed on a nearby tree branch and Snail curled up into his shell. He didn’t know what else to do!

But then, a big gust of wind knocked Snail off the branch and onto the ground. He rolled down, down, down a hill.

Pg. 20-21: Snail was dizzy from all the bouncing and rolling. He peeked out of his shell but had no idea where he was. When he looked up to see the sun was almost gone, Snail knew he didn’t have much time to find the pond. He was hopelessly lost.

Pg. 22-23: Snail needed to find one of the landmarks leading to the pond, but had no idea where he was. But then he saw the raspberry bush. Just ahead were the ferns and cattails. He wasn’t lost! He had found his way. He crawled and crawled as fast as he could. And then he saw it. There…past the clearing…was the pond.

Pg. 24-25: As the sun finally began to set behind him, Snail wriggled his way onto a nearby log.  He looked up and saw a million stars twinkling in the purple sky.

Pg. 26-27: One by one fireflies filled the air and grass with their shining lights. Dragonflies buzzed and skipped across the water of the pond.

Pg. 28-29: The frogs began to croak their tunes as the crickets and katydids joined in.

Buzz. Flit. Skit Chirp. Chirp. Katydid. Katy-didn’t. Hummmmmm. Trill. Hummmmmm. Trill. Ribbet. Rib-BET. Croak. CROAK. Croak.

The turtles watched as the owl joined the chorus. Hoo-hoo-hoot. Hoo-hoo-hoot. A symphony of sounds could be heard all around the pond. 

Pg. 30-31: Everything was so beautiful, more than Snail could have ever imagined. And then slowly, slowly, slowly…

a big yellow moon began to rise over the pond. Everything was perfect. This truly was the magic hour.

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Hi, I'm Kerry

...of Curiously Designed. This blog documents my journey as I figure out how to finally pursue a long-held dream of being a working illustrator and designer.

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