Saturday, July 21, 2007


"...These teens are hiding from perceived danger. They have been hurt and will do whatever they have to do to be safe. They live in fear of people outside of their territory. The common goal of the Hiders is safety. They have reverted to this territory because there is no place for them outside it. In the mainstream Teenland, the Hiders are not noticed. They are the ones who slip through the cracks because they do not initiate communication. They are very quiet and almost invisible. " Pamela Jo Kayanan

This is one of several images I drew for a book titled TEENLAND: A Parent's Guide to Navigating the World of Adolescence written by M.Ed Counselor Pamela Jo Kayanan who is also a licensed Substance Abuse Counselor and Family Therapist. She is a clinical faculty member at the College of William & Mary, and the mother of two beautiful daughters.

The premise of TEENLAND is that adolescents experience their world in ways that are different from either children or adults. It centers on "Joey's" vast experience in counseling and working with parents to establish rapport, to communicate more clearly and effectively with their adolescents. I'd recommend TEENLAND based on the valuable and very informational text alone.

Click here for a copy of TEENLAND

On the art side of things, with an HB pencil on paper - I roughed out the above image based on Joey's descriptions. This sketch is based on her concept of "Hiders", one of several categories in TEENLAND that an adolescent may fall into. The quote above is part of the text Joey included that helped shape what type of compositional direction I would head to. She also described the HIders as placing themselves in caves or underground caverns, or "terrain (which) is dark with heavy wooded areas with trees that block out the sun".

So I framed the girl's face with her long dark hair. The small opening in the part of her hair suggests the cavern or the wooded area blocking the light to her world. With custom brushes, I then finetuned and played up the darks in P-shop. I deepened the blacks, and removed the expressive line work to cause the tension to come from the void itself. The eyes being the so-called window to the soul, were isolated to a single eye that symbolized her identity's slow downward spiral and her silent cry for help. The rough sketch stage gave the teen too much of a startled look, I altered it enough to express a subtler tone.

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