At Home: The Delicate Balance of Life in Boston

This is my senior capstone in the works! It's a children's book written and illustrated by me on the balance of city and nature in the Boston area. I'll be updating this page periodically with my progress.

March 21, 2018 - Three Spreads!

I've been chugging away at the project and wrestling with two stomach viruses and a broken computer. Despite wanting to pull my hair out everyday, I'm really happy with my progress. Here are a few of the new spreadsand revisions I've made since my last checkin. Now, I'm looking ahead to binding, paper, and STICKERS to accompany my project! 

February 27, 2018 - Three Spreads!

I'm still working out the style of all the different elements. I like this faux-paper cut out treatment a lot. Last weekend I scanned in a large batch of textures--about 30 handmade brayer and monoprint textures and a handful of textured mulberry papers from a scrap pack I got for a few dollars. The buildings still need work, so that's on deck for next week!

February 12, 2018 - Tightening things up
February 5, 2018 - I started over!

I fell into what my professor lovingly dubs the "pit of despair," the place where everyone falls their lowest. For me, it meant realizing that my entire book, which turned into 70 pages of content and illustrations, would have been too scientifically sterile. I felt like I was trapped in a textbook-style format that didn't lend itself to beautiful illustrations because there was no large narrative guiding the piece. So, I scrapped it all. I made a list of the images I wanted to make and rewrote my story around that. And so, a new content dummy was born (rough sketches and all).


I had this grand vision that my final project would be a field guide to the wildlife of the Boston Harbor Islands. It was going to be a mix of researcher's personal sketchbook meets Gravity Falls: Journal 3 meets Owen Davey. I wanted to have chapters of the four different biomes: ocean, beach & tidepools, forest, and sky. And each chapter would feature case studies of prominent and interesting animals from each section.

When I started creating a content dummy and filling in images to accompany the text, my idea turned into a 70 page book of boring images. My text was geared towards a tween audience with scientific research incorporated into the text. Given the nature of my text, I didn't have the opportunity to create illustrative spreads when my content dummy beckoned for scientific drawings.

Here's some of the design thinking that went into my initial pitch: