Doodle Land is a book for children, that takes the young readers on a 24-hour journey through an imagined city. Changes that are constantly taking place in the cities inspired me to use sketchy illustrations as a medium for the story. During this projest I was living between Berlin, Warsaw and my hometown Lodz (Poland), therefore Doodle Land is a form of a visual diary, filled with my memories and observations from these travels.
It was also a process of searching for own visual language and an experiment, in which I explore the potential of seemingly unfinished drawings. Due to my own experience as an expat, it was conscious decision to use only universal language of pictures, accessible for everyone, regardless of age or place of birth. Size of a single page is A3, which allows to take a closer look at all the details.
I imagine that the sketchy character of the book can also inspire young children to start drawing themselves, to act freely and not be ashamed of their own flaws or mistakes they make. The books stands in oppositions to 'perfect' vector illustrations, as well as sleek, photoshopped photos of celebrities and their life. It is an ode to human imperfection.
"How does a city operate? Permanently. From dusk till dawn. From the perspective of a pedestrian and from a bird's eye view. In macro and micro scale. In short, it works totally and it is difficult to show in a reliable way, how does it happen. But Joasia managed to do it. Her archetypical city - New York, Łódź, Berlin, Warsaw and Vienna in one - includes everything typical for a metropolitan area (you just need to find it in the maze of details): an equestrial statue with a pigeon sitting on the rider's head, highways, peacocks, shopping centre, giraffes, lion, foodtrucks, billboards, amusement park, financial centre, ice cream booth, colourful town houses, squares, swimming pool, fountain, skateboarders, old ladies with walking sticks, airport, and a lot of children. All in colour, sometimes sketchy, some other time accurately, with a wealth of detail and staffage.
I have to add that it must be a democratic city, because no aspect is more important than any other: wealth than ordinary life, rush than a stroll, pedestrains than cars, dogs than cats, redidents than houses, night than day. Leisure and work, sleep and traffic jams. This world is a little better than the real one, because there I found no thieves nor homeless people, no prison nor a brothel, but in fact there is a chaos and ugliness together with attractions and pleasures. You have to follow an arrow when flipping pages, enter the city limits starting with chaos of suburbs and highways, spend all day there and leave in the streaks of night life citylights. A book drawn with several felt pens, a mechanism for time-and-space travel. You can go through it again and again, because there is always something new to discover - children love it.” - Grażka Lange