One of the bonuses of teaching at UCSD Extension is the diversity of the students themselves. It was a pleasure getting to know them through the work they produced in class.
For their final project, a 32-page book dummy, I gave my students the options of (a) working with their own original story; (b) re-illustrating an already published book; or (c) re-telling a traditional folk tale.
Here’s a peek into some of of the results…
Following a positive portfolio consultation with David Diaz at a SCBWI-San Diego One-Day-Conference, Ella German was eager to further develop the characters she drew from the sock kitten characters she created (right, and above top).
Ella brought her sock kittens, Pearl & Bear to class, plus a story outline. The manuscript went through several revisions. We discussed the motivations behind all the characters involved against the setting itself, and the theme of her story.
After numerous weedings, she rendered thumbnail sketches before moving on to her book dummy, which she actively shared with multiple critique groups that formed within our class.
“Let’s visit the SCBWI Summer Conference in L.A.!”
Illustration by Anna Guillotte
Anna Guillotte's original illustration, "Le Petit Pessimiste"
Another participant was Anna Guillotte, an accomplished fine artist who brought her own story about “a little pessimist,” an anxiety-ridden little girl. Anna wanted to encourage children there are ways to rise above everyday situations they could be anxious about.
We discussed how her story would need to spotlight a tangible challenge her character wants to overcome. And demonstrate how her “little pessimist” could triumph over her situation through her own actions.
Anna decided to have her character face an upcoming math test (right), which became her character’s challenge. A secondary character, her favorite stuffed bunny, was created as her alter ego/reactor.
The little girl’s studies, on top of her own anxieties, envelope her on test day. On her way to school, she encounters a Math Monster….
Here’s a book trailer Anna created to highlight her book premise:
Cover from "My Penguin Osbert"
Freelance illustrator/video game programmer Charles Eubanks chose to work on a story his own kids loved, My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel.
Charles jumped into producing storyboards. Then he cut-and-pasted the text manuscript into a landscape format, marking page breaks. Corresponding thumbnail sketches were placed next to each text block.
Ms. text breaks for Charles Eubanks' book dummy
Character studies were followed by a 32-page book dummy.
Character sketches by Charles Eubanks
'Little Red Riding Hood by Andrea Zuill
A needlepoint design by Andrea Zuill
Andrea Zuill displays and sells her work through Etsy and many craft fairs. In class, she’d regale us with stories about her world of hand-crafted art creators, online and in person. Threaded throughout her work is her sly humor.
Andrea's 'Snow White & the Usual Suspects'
"Say Hello to Zorro" by Carter Goodrich
For her class project, Andrea chose to illustrate her own version of Carter Goodrich’s Say Hello to Zorro!.
Andrea captured canine personality through close observation of her own dogs, rendering many sketches.
Andrea's dog, and its reaction to cats in boxes
To be continued….