Well. I have a lot to say on this topic so stay tuned for more posts and a video illustrating my process.
To give a brief summary:
1. Story This book is called Supernova Stardust's Splendidly Sweeping Stratospheric Sojourn. That's an alliteration! I know its a wordy title but hey, I'm the artist here and I have to break some conventions like having a succinct title haha. But really, it is a story about a big ol' chunk of carbon-stardust (which I love the idea that we are all made of and surrounded by the stuff of stars) that starts way out in space and embarks on a journey down through our solar system, onto the planet and then into the center of the earth. Each page is a different level of this journey. The text all rhymes and it is a magical blast of color all along the way.
2.Objective I wanted to create a wooden-paged board book that would be a durable form of fine art meant to be touched and explored as a contrast to all the art out there that you can only look at without getting in trouble! I have 2 littles of my own and I read a lot of board books. They love the tactual experience, so I wanted to make one for them.
3. Funding This was a grant project. The American Rescue Plan Act allocated funding to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the economic recovery of professional artists from the fallout of the pandemic. The NEA sent money to the Montana Arts Council where a grant program was built and I, in my stay-at-home-mom status decided this was exactly the springboard I needed to be able to get back on track with my Art career. This grant was special in that I was able to put childcare expenses into my budget which is the pivotal piece of the puzzle that allowed me to go back to work. I needed this kind of investment in my career and I am so very grateful for it.
4. Impact Now I have 3 original copies of this book: one for my personal collection, one donated to a school that is under-served in the Arts in Montana and one to sell. This thing is the most exquisite, kid-friendly book you will ever lay on your coffee table and it is truly one of a kind. It has hand stitched and hand painted pages, binding and cover. I stabbed myself in the fingers many times. Literal blood, sweat and tears went into this piece. Contact me through my website or email me if you are interested in purchasing the book.