“I think that illustration is the easiest way to tell a visual story”, explains the Latvian illustrator Anete Melece. The prolific animator, illustrator and comics artist has produced an impressive roster of material in her career including the hailed short, Kiosks which she’s recently translated into a book of the same title published by Liels un Mazs meaning big and small.
First released years ago now, Anete’s waited a while to release the story as a book because she “needed more time to find an inner motivation to work on a story [she’d] already told before.” It took her three years to finish the lively animation, painstakingly painting each frame, so part of the challenge in translating Kiosks into print lay in finding a new way of telling the story so it didn’t look like a “cheap copy of the film, just without sound and movement.”
Anete eventually found a solution by illustrating the story anew, using the film only as a reference for the characters and the background design. To compensate for the lack of sound and movement, Anete played to the strengths of print, drawing out intricate details in each illustration so the readers have more time to explore the composition for its beautifully drawn details.
And as well as being more than proficient in her enigmatic painting skills, Anete has also been utilising the medium of felt tip pens, particularly when drawing comics. She masterfully uses the pens to “add a lighthearted note to the drawings” and most recently for a commission for laut & leise, Anete adopts the easily transportable medium for the Zurich-based organisation which helps to prevent addictions. Each issue has a theme, its most recent being “digital tools” such as online tests, blogs and apps that attempt to aid people in preventing or fighting addiction.
Anete was free to interpret the topic for herself. In one comic she devises a story about a man who is addicted to his smartphone and seeks help from doctors who prescribe him an app to bite his finger instead. In another story, a lady who has a vacuum cleaning addiction goes so far, she ends up with an empty flat, hoovering everything up until she finally turns to the internet to find a better hobby.
Whether Anete’s utilising her growing collection of felt tip pens, or trying her hand at any other illustrative medium, she continues to demonstrate her ability to characterfully express all manner of facial expressions which only add to the story, that she expresses so effortlessly.