Taking on a Whale of a Project: Matt Kish’s ‘One Drawing for Every Page of Moby Dick’

3 Mar

A man takes on a whale of a project in Moby Dick.

‘One Drawing for Every Page of Moby Dick’ is a project Matt Kish (seen in photo to the left) started in August 2009, after getting the inspiration from seeing artist Zak Smith make an illustration for every page of Thomas Pynchon’s novel ‘Gravity Rainbow’.  Kish decided he would take on ‘Moby Dick’, drawing one piece everyday until completion. This was no small feat as Kish had a life, and a wife, and the thought seemed inconceivable. Besides which, he had no set structure of the art he would create, he simply grabbed whichever edition of Moby Dick he could find and draw whatever came to mind. Mind you some editions have about 400 pages, Kish chose one with 552, making the project 152 times more time consuming. The only structure he afforded himself was working on the whole book in order from Page 1 on, not jumping around, picking and choosing pages as some would do.

In grad school, Kish worked in a used bookstore, and between his fascination with maps, schematics and tables and the refuse of the old books, maps and papers that would have ended up in the bookstore’s dumpster, Kish started a collection of paper materials for future use. When Kish started the Moby Dick Project it was time to dip into this collection. Breaking the constraints of using a set medium, Kish uses many art supplies such as crayons, ink, magic markers, watercolors, acrylic, stickers and even nail polish to name a few and never digitally manipulates his images, other than scanning and slight color correction so the digital image resembles the actual act.  Having no formal artistic training, he is self-taught and his love for comics books when growing up, is evident in his pieces.

We had the opportunity to asks Kish about his comic book influence and this is what he had to say:

“I started reading comics at a very early age. My earliest memories were comics that were probably given to me or passed down. The only specific comics I remember were “The Mighty Thor” and “The Fantastic Four,” both from Marvel Comics. While I don’t remember much about them, I do very vividly remember the art by Jack Kirby.
I started pursuing comics on my own in 5th or 6th grade, and at that time, like most people, I was heavily into the X-Men although I still had a deep fondness for less traditional comics like “Godzilla, King of the Monsters,” “The Shogun Warriors,” and “ROM: Spaceknight.” Most of what I liked involved either monsters, giant robots, outer space, or all three.
I stopped reading comics entirely by college, and although I have occasionally returned to them and picked up a graphic novel, I don’t pay much attention to the costumes and capes at all anymore.”

Here are some example of his work:

We think his project this is a fantastic undertaking, for not only does it force a discipline on one’s self, given the fact that one drawing a day MUST be completed, it teaches one something about themselves and hopefully they come out a different and better person on the other side.

Kish updates his blog everyday with a new piece and hopes to be completed sometime in March 2011. We check his blog everyday to see the awesome work he produces. You should too.

Check out Matt Kish’s One Drawing for Every Page of Moby Dick project blog to see his work.

You can also visit his website.  If you are interesting in purchasing his pieces you can check out his art for sale.

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