I was sitting on a plane flight to Seattle, designing my personal webpage. It was November 2007.
Many of my thought processes start with a mind map in my notebook. This was no exception. I was rounding up what I want to tell with my online presence, but more deeply, I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
It’s no surprise the answer lied withing the realms of computer games. However, my view of them was slowly shifting from pure entertainment to a vision of a medium with the biggest potential for creativity and innovation to cultivate in great educational products. I always valued games that broadened my horizons and I saw this is an obvious extension of something else: as a kid I really loved illustrated encyclopedias.
You see, it wasn’t all supposed to be just little random things with cute sentences on the side. I had this all planned back in November 2007. I was going to do an encyclopedia, but not a gigantic work like Wikipedia. It would be focused on illustrations in a coherent style, with the essence of the matter explained in plain English instead of convoluted scientific terms. It was going to be named Ilustropedia.
And so I sketched, on that plane flight, a title for my work, drawn from many little objects. For years it remained just a page in my sketchbook. Until early 2011, when I stumbled upon Jessica Hische’s Daily Drop Cap. It immediately brought me back to that November, reminding me how much fun I had figuring those letters out.
An email later Jessica said she didn’t mind me starting a similar project and even helped me settle on the final name. I already figured the correct spelling of illustration, but was glad to get a second opinion from a native speaker on Illustropedia versus Illustrapedia.
I registered the domain soon after and on March 6th the first of 100 random things that spell Illustrapedia were published. The rest, as they say, is history. Or maybe not. Because as this countdown nears to an end I am reminded it was counting down to something. All this was done in hopes to get me back into illustration, pixel art, self-discipline and all the rest I would need to really make this project what I wanted it to be.