Illustrating a children’s book was one of my wildest dreams in the past and I didn’t know it was tedious until I actually did one. When I was choosing the topic for my story, I tried to find one that children already know of and enjoy hearing of, or something new that they would be interested and curious about. A popular theme in a lot of small children’s stories is animals, and I personally, I was so curious about frogs so I used them as my subject. I started developing the characters and realized the importance of colours and detail in giving each one distinction and personality. The characters were illustrated in a childlike manner to appeal and relate to the target readers. I really wanted the book to be colourful and to be contrasting and harmonizing at the same time. I was always fascinated with depth and dimension so I almost always include highlights and shadow in all my works.
The plot was created through a main problem that drives the subject’s actions and a solution to the problem. A moral lesson is always a part of the conclusion; that determination may not always make you a champion but it makes you better every time.
The words chosen for the poems were aiming to introduce new vocabulary among toddlers who might get curious as parents read them the story. It also encourages the practice of proper pronunciation and enunciation. Simple syllables that represent sounds are arranged on each spread for younger readers (those who are just starting to read). Having that said, the book is recommended to be read aloud by parents to pre-schoolers and to be read independently by early school age children.
It was a fun process, in a way that things came spontaneously out of my childhood memories. Though I had the basic shapes and forms and colors from the study the additional details and nitty-gritty just came out unplanned from my subconscious making it organic and creating this kind of connection with children. I didn’t have to be stiff and rigid with technique like I usually do with figure drawing or portraiture. Here, bringing back the happy carefree child-like feeling really makes the difference. The more I open up myself and make my art fragile and vulnerable, the more it becomes appropriate and relatable. It was relaxing and I would say a therapeutic experience for me.