My Life In A Zoo – Children’s Book

Media type:
Illustrated Children’s Book (Print)

Project type:
Personal

Additional information:
This project involved writing, drawing and designing all contents of a children’s book and turning those elements into a print ready format. “My Life in a Zoo – Lost in London” was self-published and sold with a limited print number in 2013. In 2021 I decided to revisit this project and fully digitalise it using new, updated illustrations as well as expanding on the storyline.

- CHILDREN'S BOOK -

- INITIAL IDEA -

The first ever drawing of Roger was created on a t-shirt in 2010. Using a rough sketch I had prepared, I painted it onto the fabric using fabric paint. Although quite abstract, this drawing always had a very special meaning to me and would remain on my mind for years to come until I used it as a starting point for the storyline of the book.

- PATTERN CREATION -

For the book’s endpaper I used a hand sketched image of Roger. With the intention to vectorise the image in Adobe Illustrator later on, it was important to me to preserve a hand drawn effect to the imagery. After the image was fully digitalised and vectorised, I created a continuous pattern and treated it to the book’s colour theme.

Pattern created for the book's endpaper.

- 2013 RELEASE -

The physical copy of the book was distributed with matching business cards and stickers that I created specifically for the project. I felt this added a memorable personal touch for readers.

- REVISION -

In 2013, for my final major project at University, I had written and illustrated a children’s book that I called “My Life in a Zoo – Lost in London”. In a way, it represented myself and how I felt leaving family and friends behind to relocate and pursue my studies in one of the biggest cities in the world. I felt drawn to the process of writing a children’s book as I feel there is a disarming and direct quality to the format, where the complicated emotions of adulthood can be conveyed in the simple language of childhood.

Growing up being inspired and fascinated by Tim Burton’s work, it came natural to write a book that rhymed. For this project I refined one of my character scribbles, “Roger”, from 2009 and made it my protagonist. Due to tight University deadlines I did not get to create as many stories of Roger’s little adventures as I had initially wanted to. This project is very near and dear to my heart and I always felt that it had a lot more potential which is why I initially intended to create a book series that I could publish myself with limited print runs. I got so swept up working one full time job after another and taking freelance jobs where I could as well that I put it off for many years.

Roger watching TV - Illustration, 2013

I bought myself an iPad Pro and started doing illustrations digitally in the beginning of this year. As an old school handcrafter, going fully digital has always been something that scared me but I am determined to put in the time and effort that this project deserves. Below are some examples of the revision process.

- THE CREATIVE PROCESS -

The video below shows a time lapse of one of the digital illustrations I am currently working on for the book and the process that I am undertaking in order to refresh this project.





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