We can all remember the feeling we got from either reading or watching the Little Prince the first time. It's amazing to think how clearly a story or animation can communicate a message. This is how I felt when I discovered Anna's little Felix the fox on Instagram. I wanted to learn more about this story and where it came from so I reached out to Anna, who was more than happy to share her project.
As a final year BA (Hons) Illustration student at Sheffield Hallam University, Anna developed a strong interest in children’s book illustration and how it can play an important role in childhood development.
Anna is particularly interested in the role children’s books can have in educating children and developing a strong bond between parent and child. She finds it important for all children to have an equal opportunity to read, learn and enjoy illustrated children’s books.
With equal access to storybook illustrations in mind, Anna decided to expand and test her skills as an illustrator in order to create an illustrated interactive children’s book specifically for visually impaired and partially sighted children and their families.
By experimenting and using a wide range of materials, from fabrics to Electric Paint, Anna was able to create an interactive storyboard that would help trigger senses such as sound and touch in order to bring both the character, Felix the Fox, and the short story to life.
Felix the Fox and the Rainy Day is a short story about a cheeky urban fox called Felix and what he gets up to on a rainy day. By using a mix of materials including fabrics and Electric Paint Anna created raised images and sound effects, allowing the story to become interactive through different senses.
Anna experimented with both fabric and mount-board to add tactile sections to specific illustrations and to create raised images for the audience to touch and explore.
These tactile features within the storyboard complimented the interactive areas that were created by using Electric Paint and then linked to the Touch Board to trigger sounds when touched.
This project has allowed Anna to reflect upon the ways in which sighted people take the sense ‘touch’ for granted, especially when reading books.
By creating books that help stimulate the other senses, people can have more dynamic experiences when reading; enriching the imagination and creating a sensation that the reader is part of the story.
The reader can also become more connected to the characters in the story through the textures and the environment that the narrative creates.
The use of conductive paint within this project has opened up a new world of unexpected options when designing and illustrating characters and children’s books.
Anna is currently using Electric Paint within two other ongoing projects, which we can’t wait to see!
Images & Video: Anna Terreros-Marin
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