I am starting a Dark-themed AB RR next month (one of three I am participating in presently). After a lot of back and forth, I finally decided on my theme: "What Lies Beneath?" I like the many meanings this theme has. Things are not always as they seem.
To get the players thinking about this, I created this list of prompts to encourage them to dig deep and explore things that lie below the surface. Is it a mask or facade that hides something dark and sinister? Is it an illusion that tricks you into seeing something that you're not? Is there a secret that you keep? Do you struggle to keep your true emotions in check? Do you hold back because of a fear you have? Ask yourself: What lies beneath?
The other week, I was watching a movie called "an Unfinished Life." In this movie, Jennifer Lopez plays a battered woman who finally gets up the courage to leave her abusive relationship. She tells a friend "You wanna know the ugly little truth? You stay because you think you don't deserve any better, 'cause you think it's the best you can do." I created this set of pages around those words.
I printed the image onto deli paper which is translucent enough to reveal the text of my book. I really like this effect.
I blended the torn edges of the deli paper with black acrylic paint to make a cohesive two-page spread. I then used cut out words--ransom note style--to symbolize how the battered partner in a toxic relationship is a hostage, a prisoner to their abuser.