Anansesum 1 and 2

These titles, written by Ghanaian author Abyna-Ansaa Adjei, and published by Frangipani Books Ltd, are collections of stories featuring the endearing trickster character Anansi the Spider. But instead of a spider as traditionally portrayed, the author wanted for the design of the protagonist something far more human. We decided that Anansi should be a human with six arms. During my research into Ghanian art, I discovered that though batik-making originated in Indonesia, Ghana also has a long history of batik-making. With that in mind, plus the knowledge that many traditional Ghanaian paintings often use bright and vivid colors, I created a distinct art style for the illustrations. To get the crackle effect – a feature on many batik art – I experimented with making wet ink washes over crushed sheets of paper, then layering the scanned images of the crackled paper onto the digital artworks.