24 March 2018

Prepping for Teen Summer Reading

It's that time of year again, when I am madly putting together the plan for six weeks plus of teen summer reading at Burbank Public Library...and madly drawing and painting to illustrate the brochure and half a dozen flyers we need to advertise it.

This year's theme is "Reading Takes You Everywhere!" and Anarda and I decided to theme it completely towards travel. So we are making marbled paper to use as end papers for the travel journals we are going to construct from scratch (hand-sewn signatures) in the first two weeks and, during the last three weeks, we are doing a four-part workshop on MAP-MAKING. We're very excited about it. We both signed up for Nate Padavick's map-making class he taught on Sketchbook Skool, and then browsed all the maps posted by the many amazing artists and designers on his (and his sister Salli's) website, theydrawandtravel.com.

My first illustration isn't destined for any one flyer, but may make an appearance somewhere. It's a compass rose, which is among the first assignments given in Nate's class—that directional icon that points unerringly north on all maps. This one is meant for a map I plan to design featuring the various aspects of fantasy reading. The whole plan with the map-making, you see, is to get the teens to make a map based on a book they read. So we are coming up with an extensive book list that features realistic road trip books, but also includes such things as fantasies with compelling world-building that demands a map (like the four Londons in V. E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic series, or the five kingdoms in Kristin Cashore's Graceling), or romances that are set in some iconic city like Paris (such as Stephanie Perkins's Anna and the French Kiss), or science fiction that details the outlines of a city on a new world that needs illustrating. Really, when you stop and think about it, you could make a map to connect with any story that has a well-developed sense of place.

Here is a pen drawing of my compass rose, and following is the same drawing, now watercolored. I'm pretty happy with it (although the north-south sword is a tiny bit crooked!). I'll publish the rest of my illustrations as I get them done.

Anybody recognize this castle?