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Educational Strip

It’s all going MAD!

Usborne books1973

Key points I wanted to showcase and issues I will face.
* less PINK.
* I wanted to avoid stereotype “girl”, but still not exclude girls by doing so.
* Not being TOO serious but also not downplaying completely this issue.
* Appealing to the age group.
* Humour within the illustrations and text.

As always I created my mood board digitally and included images within my sketchbook.

Mini Chao

Illustrator – Mimi Chao
This is the second time I’ve touched upon the work of Chao, the first being the exercise giving directions.
The reason we revisit as I honestly love the feeling I get from this image. It is pretty much what I want to recreate in my own way.
Feels very feminine and empowering without over load of pink .
Also my tutor liked the “making Tea” side illustration I did and thought of this exercise for that!

Nancy Leschnikoff – AOI Folios

Illustrator – Nancy Leschnikoff
Leschnikoff designed and illustrated usbornes “what’s happening to me?” series. Which are the perfect study source for this exercise. I already own these books for my own children, so had a lot of reference to refer to.
It is very well designed book and speck visually in a good tone for young girls, so I cannot help but feel inspired by her work.

One of the ways I found would help me to make this my own is I was designing designing with my daughter and her friends in mind.

So will be drawing from a lot of real life experiences to try and illustrate this exercise!

OCA - All going mad
Illustration by me, inspired by Leschnikoff and Chao.
Book cover by Nick Sharratt
The dare game – Jacqueline Wilson – 2006

I created mini pieces based upon both the works of Leschnikoff and Chao, (above) it was good for me to explore both of these styles, but it didn’t feel right for this exercise and what I have in mind to me make my own take on this.
I really do like elements within both of these styles, so in time may find a way forward to use within my illustrations.
My sketchbook work seem to take its own direction which was along the line of things I drew day in and day out prior to this course but with a new twist, I was thinking something Anime/Manga but with a touch of feeling of Nick Sharratts “Tracy Beaker” illustrations. So for this I wanted something very colourful, so I figured I will try to create using artist markers and ink.

Sketchbook pages and working out the folds.


My sketches started in my personal sketchbook (4) these started as doodles which later became my first ideas.
I also experimented with a new style (second) however this was dropped as it wasn’t something I found natural or a media I could enjoy and relax with. This was inspired by covers on usborne book collection which my daughter reads.

I like the style I just know this isn’t very “me”. It was fun having a play with coloured fine liners. Very likely I will find a way to use these that suit me better.

When I came to the process of working in my course sketchbook, I liked the idea of almost graphic novel/comic look with a younger “character”. Kind of like the remake of She’ra, this idea did fade away. I did keep some of the early elements, but I felt I was targeting younger children and wouldn’t relate as much to older girls (young teens) on a wider scale.
I didn’t want to “baby” my young teenage market, but try and speck to them more on their level. This thinking is what dominated my choices in design / colour and character.
I wanted it to be as if a young teen is talking to another!


Early sketches, based on images I found… I felt this was too feminine in design with the flowers. The one of the reason I dropped the digital designs (above) I felt was too cute!


I started story boarding, thinking about layouts, ways to display my panels.


I liked the idea that a teachers can print and fold themselves from A4 and make a zig-zag booklet/panels.
With this in mind I created my panels almost “stand alone” but part of the “story”.


Final thumbnails and the “characters” I liked also idea of two characters (which are based on my daughter and her friend) so could have two versions which girls could relate to,

From the work I did in my sketchbook, I went ahead and created directly on A4 paper using artist markers and ink.

The scans


Finished pieces & Mock up

Using photoshop I started to add the text, I started to wish I did everything on its own page and build in photoshop. I found I wanted to change things and I had committed very early by putting together on the page.
The positives of this is that it does have a more organic feel to the edges and bleed of the markers/ink.

OCA - its all going mad

This is a lot that I’m not used to, as it is bold and while I wanted it to feel like a teenager could create themselves (to help them relate) so almost like a school diary project.
I’m not sure if this will backfire and just just look too much like a school project!
The fold design would be so the face could fit together if folded one way…
Order from TL-R Cover, pg1, P,2
BL-R Pg5(back), pg 3, Pg4 (the idea is that is folds in a zig tag from the cover.

I really need to print this, due to on-going printer problems (need a new printer) and fact I had contacted the local university prior and planned to print my course work via them, this will now not be happening until isolation has been lifted.
I was able to created a mock up, but the fold isn’t what I’ve designed the layout for, but gives a small impression of how will look…

test mock up

This is hard one for me to judge, as it meant not be perfect. I have the urge to tidy up and work on. Bits like “girls are superheroes” don’t stand out as much as I like, but I don’t want the font to over shadow the illustration. I wanted this to be as if I just wrote “notes” all over and doodled a bit.
I like the illustrations, I like the colours.
This one I’m a little worried I didn’t explore enough, while did my research, spider graph and thumbnails I kept going for this kind of design.
I wanted the language and visuals to speck from a teenage girl.

Credits, research and reference.

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