Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Road to Adorable

The curtain opens to reveal a very theatrical book hoofing it to promote literacy.
Artist: Heather DiDomenico
I am always interested in how an idea develops and changes over time to become something tangible and complete.  The creative process seems somehow magical when it is removed from our personal experience but becomes demystified when seen as a step-by-step journey.

As I wrote my dissertation I imaged all of the other doctoral students out there breezing along with the luxury of uninterrupted time and boundless energy.  It was only in discussion with others that I realized research and writing is not "easy" for anyone.  Creativity takes planning.  Planning takes time. Time allows for error.  Error eventually produces results.

The creative process is a process.  Although moments of inspiration and creativity appear along the way it all begins with a vision.  The vision is then shaped and worked on until a (hopefully) satisfying result is produced.

And sometimes the vision needs a little help from others before it can manifest. This was certainly true when I had the notion to create an image for my new literacy project called Broadway Books First Class.  I saw the image very clearly in my mind but lacked the artistic ability to execute it.

I sent out a few feelers to some talented individuals but did not find a match until my mom suggested asking my young niece, Heather, to create the image.  Heather was agreeable so I gave her a detailed account of what I wanted.

However, she was unfamiliar with my references - "The hat should be on an angle like Liza's in Cabaret when she is singing Mein Heir" "The book should look somewhat like a dancer in motion from A Chorus Line" "I want a cane and top hat similar to that of Fred Astaire" "Bold, dark lines like the Broadway poster for Beauty and the Beast"

Heather's First Sketch
To her credit this did not deter her.  She did her research and sent me a rough sketch almost immediately. We had some back and forth to adjust things (e.g. getting rid of the floorboards, adding detail to the curtains, changing the lettering).

The final result is a dream.  She created an adorable image that makes me want to cuddle up with a book and become lost in the entertainment it offers.  From the expressive "Spongebob" style eyes to the banana-shaped mouth the image is absolute perfection.

So, meet the face of Broadway Books First Class.

Thank you Heather!!!!


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