Allison Black

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2008

Capstone Advisor

John Thompson

Honors Reader

Roger DeMuth

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Visual and Performing Arts

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Art and Design | Illustration


John Thompson, an illustration professor atSyracuseUniversity, informed me in the fall semester of my junior year that he was organizing a painting course which would fly students toIndiafor fifteen days during our winter break. The students would return and spend the next semester creating pieces based on their travels. I knew that the trip would be an incredible experience and that I had to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

While inIndiawe passed stores bursting with colors and patterns, we walked through villages with indigo blankets laid out like patchwork on the hot sandy ground, and we observed carpet weavers designing intricate patterns into their woven masterpieces. We visited little towns and walked on the glistening tiles of the Taj Mahal. Our group included six students, John, and our incredible guide Bhoju, without whom we may not have made it back alive! We hardly knew each other when we met at the airport to begin our journey, but during the time we spent together we became incredibly close.

Monkeys and Camels and Hippos...Oh My! is a series of work based on our group experiences while inIndia. The main characters in the story are John and the girls in the class, as well as the people and animals that we encountered during our trip. I took the liberty to abstract and fantasize our journey, creating a story that is largely built on the imagination and personality of our group as we experienced the people, animals, landscapes, food, and culture ofIndia.

This book is intended to be read as a graphic novel, but the story is not depicted in standard linear sequential form. Therefore I expect each reader to have their own interpretation, bringing their individual imagination and personality to this tale. Although every piece in the series is not fully painted, there are final sketches in place of any incomplete paintings to enable the reader to follow the story. Enjoy!

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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