Sheffield Urban Sketches

Autumn is coming. When I was sketching on the street in Sheffield, I could feel the autumn characteristic colors everywhere. I’m not good at using watercolor pencils to sketch, but however, they might just express the right feeling I was looking for: wet, cloudy, and the rainy weather. 

Halloween Sketchcrawl

Fortunately, I visited Lynne’s house to participate the Halloween party on last Saturday. It was the first time I join such a local activity. And it was not only the native social event, but also the sketchcrawl. We sketched the creative decorated delicacies, and then we drew each other, everyone has prepared elaborately and they all dressed up uniquely on that night. It was really a gorgeous and memorable event.     



Halloween greeting cards design

I have been away from Birmingham on 27thOct to take part in the Halloween sketchcrawl event, and traveled around Sheffield for 3 days. Before I departed, I had prepared some Halloween cards creating by myself as a gift to send some new friends on our Halloween Party. Hope they all have had an amazing night on that day.    


Portrait sketches

I went to Millennium Point with my friend yesterday. We sketched some people at the café point and school library. They moved and changed their positions very fast, but it is important to sketch out the main outline in different situations.    


Sketching at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I attended a local event called Sketchcrawl on last Sunday. The weather on that day was pretty good, and fortunately I met Lynne and lots of other artists at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It’s really a great opportunity to practice observational drawing skill from nature site and getting inspirations from other talents. I spent one extra day staying at YSP in order to sketch out as much as I can.



Birmingham Urban Sketch


Sketching Aston University Central Park

I didn’t draw landscape sketch for a long time. Today when I sketched again, I felt excited, expected and a little bit unconfident. Since this reminded me think of the past time when I sketched outside with my classmates and teachers, that is really a precious memory for me. From now on, I’m going to sketch out every memorable set in Birmingham, in which I spent one year to live, study and travel around. Each single place is going to be an unforgettable part in my life. 


Collage illustration

Recently I created some collage work by using used magazines. The themes are about my ideas and experiences in this year living in England. I thought collage is a little bit difficult artistic form and different from traditional drawing since it needs to match your needs, but after working out these images, I’m crazy about collage illustration, which could give me a surprise when I finally finished each of these images. 


Interactive soft book

The content of the soft story book
I plan to create the soft book as a basic level language education book to teach some simple words to young audience.
The book named Animals baby book
The learning words include Ladybug, Snake, Rabbit, Dog, Cat, Bird, Frog, and Whale.
The material being used in this book: colorful assorted felt sheets, bright buttons
Dummy Book size: 10.5cm X 15cm 
Target audience:
The soft book is suitable for 0 - 5 years old children.

The soft book format will look like a full spread, the pages will be linked by colorful buttons and both the left side and right side could be folded up, then the book will be folded into small size.

The individual soft card could be hanged on to the baby cot or baby carriage. And also this book pages could be linked together randomly, or as a folded book format. Therefore, the different functions of the audience needs would be achieved by diverse book formats.

Front cover design
Back cover design


Soft book design

I used to research some non-paper alternative materials being used in children’s book illustration design, such as soft fabric book. Trying to create a soft book that could meet the young audience needs, the soft book may provide some irreplaceable strong point other than paper book, such as using some waterproof fabric to produce.
The soft book cover could be designed as a toy, and  inside the toy, is the content of the story. This kind of book format is cute and attractive to young readers.
 The series soft books talked about the different tails of diverse animals, and the concept of design is creative, the designer created different tails by using various materials that could enchant the young readers to be curious about the text.
The visual narrative folder soft book could display the sequential images to young readers.
The visual concepts development
According to the former visual references, I'm going to change the way to communicate with young readers. The target audience could be 3-5 years old children, who may like to interact with this user friendly soft book.
The book could be created like a jigsaw puzzle, in the beginning of the book, I will ask a question and offer some clues to readers, by reading the whole book, children will solve the question in the end of the story.
                                      Interesting book format design
The fish could be illustrated in a full spread that the paper could be folded into eight pages, as the following shows:
Full Spread Version
Design details:
Book size: Full spread: 50cm*30cm
                    Folded: 12cm*15cm
Book cover size: Full spread:  34.5cm*21cm
                               Folded: 15cm*19cm
Software: Adobe illustrator
Fabric: Glossy satin
Book Cover Design
                                        Front Cover & Beck Cover
By doing this project, I think the creative book format has a tight relationship with the content of story, because all I am supported to do is let the book design serving the story. Additionally, I have learnt how effectively the soft material book could interact with young audience and how to apply creative thinking methods in children’s book format design, after testing out the final concepts of fabric book design; I have ensured that my concepts are reasonable and suitable for reproduction.



Exploring new technology in children’s book illustration design

Recently, I explored the new technology (laser cutting) being used in different materials and book formats design. After analyzing these laser cutting examples, I have written some principles and criteria that could support me to judge my own works of laser cutting book design, especially the laser cutting typeface design needs some specific requirements to ensure the final concepts could be readable for young audience. 

The laser cutting book is distinctive and exquisite, but might not suitable for young children, because the cutting paper might be torn easily. So compared with normal paper, some alternative media like glass paper might be more favorable for young audience, since that kind of material could be protected facilely.
  Laser cutting book design (Project: Pepito learns colors) 
n  Redesign the Pepito book to be laser cutting book format.
n  Considering how efficiently the format of the new technology book could communicate and interact with young readers. Exploring various possibilities of book design could be created through laser cutting technology. 
The initial sketches are in black and white and the black parts indicate the negative space which would be cut out in laser cutting machine.

Redesign the layout of Pepito book is in order to let the pages suitable for laser cutting. 
This laser cutting sample book will include a book cover design with 8 pages design that indicate what will the final concept looks like.

                               Book cover design
The cover page will be separated into different layers with different colors.

  Producing an interactive book by using just original black and white papers. Offering some colorful paper to readers and let them match the right color to the right page based on the text instruction.  

 The interactive book could not exist individually. So I need to find a way to combine the interactive book with the educational ones.

    One book with two covers-- combines the interactive book with the educational ones.