A Thousand Words: Celebrating the Power of Visual Language in Picture Books
In a culture which depends heavily on verbal and written communication to satisfactorily interact with our peers, communicative formats such as picture books are often categorized as being accessible only for immature audiences who cannot understand text without the assistance of pictures. The assumption that these ‘children’s stories’ do not contain intellectually stimulating messages can result in many voices and perspectives going unrealized. On the contrary, successful picture books combine multiple language techniques through text, image, color, and style to portray often daunting themes and emotions to a range of audiences who might not have received them or accepted them solely through the written word. To explore the complexity of mediums through which book illustrators create accessible stories across age and language barriers, this project will culminate in the adaptation of text from an original short story into an illustrated picture book using techniques studied from existing published works. Example formats from the international picture book market will be discussed, including illustrated adaptations from Russell Hoban, Shaun Tan, and the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde, which all address difficult issues of their time both whimsically and candidly. Selected documentation of my process from inspiration to sketches to final artwork will be provided.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Kristina Arnold, Arden von Haeger, Chris Keller
Art and Design | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Illustration
Gill, Emilie, "A Thousand Words: Celebrating the Power of Visual Language in Picture Books" (2018). Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 768.