ok so if i'm being honest, since my final presentation on monday i've done very little that doesn't involve eating delicious food or drinking alcohol (a gal's allowed to indulge in a celebratory fashion, right?), so as you can imagine i've done very little creatively. i worked briefly on wednesday on some additional illustrations for my collaborative nhs project, but other than that i've done absolutely nada, and for that reason i thought i'd use today to share some extra spreads from my picture book, mallory goes to new york, and talk a little about the project.
as you can probably guess, the idea for the story was born last march as i visited new york with my university course. prior to the visit i was filled with the usual feelings of overwhelming excitement, however while i was there i soon learnt that the grass definitely wasn't greener on the other side, and that's the overarching message of the picture book, to appreciate home a little more (even if it means travelling to the opposite end of the globe to be able to do so!)
of course with the story being a children's picture book it wouldn't bode well to focus too much on negative experiences and the doom and gloom of loneliness, so i tried to be as playful as possible to really bring the story and the protagonist, mallory, to life in a way that would be engaging, silly and hopefully humorous.
i wrapped the storyline around my own navigation and experience of new york city, featuring places that i visited and things that i felt, and in particular one of my favourite spreads and storylines is the inclusion of a doggy daycare that i stumbled upon. while new york was mostly an alienating experience for me, i found kindness in a couple of people i encountered (once in a barnes and noble coffee shop, once in a lush store) which really helped to lift my spirits and my overall opinion of the big apple. i replicated this kindness in my story in the form of a dog that mallory meets who directs her to the daycare for a last positive, inclusive experience within the city before heading off back home.
when all is said and done, the final spread attempts to hammer home the fact that home really is where the heart is. as bleak as a place can often seem, the answer isn't always to take yourself off elsewhere to a place that others may regard as the answer to your troubles, because sometimes all you really need is the positive effect that friends, family and a new outlook on life can bring to your own life.
i really hope you've enjoyed this brief look into my story, and don't forget that you can view more spreads on my online portfolio!