Choosing the Poems and Thumbnailing

After choosing my topic the next step is choosing the poems that I’ll be illustrating. After a lot of thought I chose 10 poems in a specific order, with the hope that they will give some chronological sense of Lorca’s life.

I decided to divide his life in different stages based on the order he wrote his poetry books:

  1. His more innocent poems. Many of his first poems were inspired by nature, where he observed the cycle of life and questioned life and death.

  2. Odes to people he admired and felt passionate about.

  3. Gypsy Ballads Poetry Book. His work was more mature and he was concerned with injustice and the political climate of his country. He decided to portray the struggle and pain of the gypsy community.

  4. New York City. His most surreal poetry book, in my opinion. He traveled to New York where he felt depressed by the city. He felt people where too superficial and too involved in their fast lives. He also felt appalled by the mistreatment of African Americans and advocated for them in his poetry. He felt the black community should rise up. To him Africa represented nature and Lorca thought nature should take over the city so people would wake up and observe the world around them. He expressed this through a series of surreal imagery and very intrinsic metaphors.

  5. Final days- He spent some time in Cuba after NY before arriving to Spain. There is very little said about this time but he did write home about what a great time he was having. He fell in love with Cuban culture and their music. After his return about a year later he disappeared.

The list of Poems I ended up choosing is:

-El chopo muerto (Stage 1)

-Caracol (Stage 1)

-Oda a Dalí (Stage 2)

-La cogida y la muerte (dedicated to a friend’s death- Stage 2)

-Reyerta (Stage 3)

-Romance sonámbulo (Stage 3)

-Paisaje con dos tumbas (Stage 4)

-Rey de Harlem (Stage 4)

-Ciudad sin sueño (Stage 4)

-Son de negros en Cuba (Stage 5)

The first step of conceptualizing would be to do some thumbnailing. This process is about sketching some quick ideas to come up with different compositions and concepts really quickly. You can literally do stick figures as long as you understand what’s going on. (So don’t judge my drawing skills at this stage! ) I like to write some words that stood out to me on the sides or some phrases that will inspire me. Here are a few of my thumbnails at this stage.

Click on the image to see the different photos!