Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Art and Design | Illustration
My children’s book development project for the Honors program is the creation of a children’s book ‘dummy’ book. A dummy book is a creative process book that a children’s book illustrator might send to a publishing company as part of an application or as a pitch for a future project. A dummy book includes several stages of production in the creation of a finished children’s book. These steps include: the choice of a story, the initial thumbnail/small sketches, creation of the book’s layout and design sketches, final drawings, and final paintings. These sample books serve as a model to display an artist’s ability in a way that will showcase their style and work process as well as serve as a sample of their finished work.
The story I chose to illustrate for this project is the nonsensical poem: “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear. First published in 1871 the poem tells the story of an owl and a pussycat who fall in love; go to sea; and are married in a faraway land.
Throughout this project I worked in a variety of mediums, each chosen to accompany the volume and complexity of the work being executed. The initial sketches were drawn in a sketchbook with ink pens. The ‘dummy’ book was compiled withBristolpaper and graphite. The final sketches and paintings were completed digitally. The digital pieces were drawn with a Wacom drawing tablet. This is an interactive drawing screen that is touch sensitive and picks up its digital pen’s movements like a paper would when drawing on it with pencil. The program used to draw and paint the pieces was Adobe Photoshop.
I was always read to and encouraged to read and look at books as a child. Books and story time were always very important to me and had an enormous impact on my interests and goals. From my earliest childhood I was introduced to art and story-telling and was inspired to create. I was influenced by the artists of my favorite books and have continued to study art and art history to develop my knowledge of art and traditions as teaching tools. I have also come to understand the value of books and reading to children to teach and encourage imagination and creativity; this has drawn me to the children’s book art form. I feel the presentation of a large collection of work can be a wonderful learning process and I very much enjoy viewing this sort of project when presented in any field of study.
Art to me is a powerful force that can inspire people to create and experience new things. I want to encourage these ideas and promote reading and storytelling. I also strive to reach children, parents and educators with my work and create a visually stimulating and exciting presentation. I therefore present this project in its entirety as an example of my creative process, the stages of children’s book creation, and art at its essence to be viewed, experienced, and enjoyed.
Zomchek, Rebecca, "Children’s Book Development" (2008). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 506.
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