Mrs. Whitmoore’s Haunted House is a 32 page, separate ended picture book dummy that works to address anxiety and fear in children. It follows the story of Melvina Whitmoore, an eccentric old woman who moves into a new house where she hopes to feel safe and put some of her fears to rest. After settling into her home, she moves through a chaotic and dreamlike sequence of events where a rowdy group of monsters and ghouls chase her through her home.
The values I carry when creating work have morphed and changed as I have moved through school, but the core of why I create has always remained the same: above all else, I want to have fun and I want to find ways to help others have fun. I make work that reflects the things I care about. I care about joy, and silliness, and creating pieces that are accessible to adults, but more importantly, to children. In my practice, I take subject matter that is not traditionally intended for younger audiences and I try to make these larger concepts palatable for children. I work to address things like self care, and anxiety in ways that give children safe spaces to explore complex ideas. Part of my practice is having children critique my work mid-way through the process; this gives me the opportunity to hear what is and is not working from a child’s perspective, ensuring that I can make changes to the piece to be as exciting to children as possible. I value their feedback and really enjoy giving them the opportunity to become part of my illustration process! It doesn’t hurt that the kids that I work with love being my art directors! My goal is to always create a piece that resonates with adults on a more mature level, but also remains approachable to children who may not understand the larger concept behind the piece. I hope to continue to grow this practice, and I hope in turn that I continue to make work includes and excites children, giving them a space to explore and appreciate art.