Answer Rock is a 48 page, self ended picture book dummy. It is a 11 x 8.5 inch book that is aimed towards later elementary school children, or earlier elementary school children with an adult. Answer Rock has a word count of a little over 1600 words, which is longer than a typical picture book. Given the longer word count, the book will be less accessible to younger audiences. However, my intention with Answer Rock was to create a book that a child and their guardian could read together, as well as a book that slightly older children could revisit on their own.
Answer Rock is a story of a little girl named Bug who goes to visit her grandmother in a small town. This town is built around a large rock and living on that rock is a ridiculous man that the townspeople blindly trust to answer all of their questions. The town is so dependent on this man that they cannot make a single decision without his help. However, when a big storm hits the small town, the man and his rock float away forever. All hope falls to Bug to give guidance to the town.
Answer Rock explores a child’s experience when discovering that the adults in her life do not hold the answers to everything. In the town’s enthusiastic reliance on this untrustworthy man, Bug soon realizes that adults can be wrong too. Through this experience, she learns to find a balance between relying on her own judgment and the advice given to her by adults.
Within my art, I tell narratives. Whether that story is told from a single image or multiple, I want the viewer to be able to find something within it. The narratives I focus on surround magical occurrences in everyday moments. Sometimes this means portraying the beauty found in a small moment between people, other times it's literal unexplained magic. It is important to find beauty in everyday life.
As a kid, I was obsessed with any book that had pictures in it. I spent time looking through and choosing my favorite characters, pages, or scenes. I would stare at these images for long stretches of time and revisit them often to see if my opinions had changed. I became influenced by these things. Whenever I drew something, it was narrative based. Lights dim in my room, I began with a pile of printer paper and drew myself entire stories, speaking them out loud to myself, acting out all the parts, making faces to go with the emotion I was drawing. No words ever touched those pages. As they stand, they are unintelligible to everyone but me.
I am influenced by things like the photography in The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright. That art made me want to create slightly haunting things. Busy patterns found in any picture book caught my attention. For example Lionel Kalish’s illustrations in The Sheep of the Lal Bagh, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, Maurice Sendak, and Edward Gorey.
I merge digital and traditional art to find interesting combinations of the two forms. I mainly work with color pencils, and then improve the images through Procreate. The merging of these two art forms makes my art feel more tangible than if it purely existed in a digital space.