Kitty to the Rescue! Process Documentation

Originally, I had three ideas for my visual book: cocktail recipes, Pittsburgh history, and a children’s story. I chose the story book because I was most passionate about it and wanted to create a nostalgic story based on the stuffed animals of my childhood.

First, I brainstormed components from the imaginary adventures of my stuffed black cat, Kitty, that I wanted to incorporate into this story. Next, I made a loose plot line that outlined the story and approximately how many frames each event would need.

Following the written plot outline, I mocked-up a storyboard as a preliminary illustration for the content.

While perusing Behance for inspiration, I came across The Little Fox. I liked the polygonal illustration style and adapted it for my skill level by flattening the shapes.

In preparation for using Illustrator, I first sketched out each character in each frame. In doing so, I had a convenient basis in which to trace using the Pen tool. A few of the hand-drawn elements are provided below.

These images, along with a few other, became my spreads for the initial critique. The main feedback I received involve maintaining the consistency of the style throughout the different spreads. For example, the mountains above did not fit with the polygonal theme. Also, the strokes outlining the characters may be too dark and heavy and may stand out.

Therefore, I modified the mountains to be more in line with the polygonal style. I also changed the strokes of the characters into a more subtle color that is inline with the color scheme of the character, rather than just black.

To mimic other children’s books that I researched, I placed the text that I wrote simply in the center of the page. Initially, the font that I chose was Comic Sans, as I believed its use in my book would be similar to its use in cartoons. However, based on feedback from the critique, people did not respond well to it as it seemed to have a negative connotation around it. Therefore, I ended up choosing Kristen ITC, a sans serif font that is also reminiscent of bubble letters similar to Comic Sans. I believed the roundness and softness of the typeface was appropriate for a children’s book.

My final product is shown below.