Monday, October 17, 2005
Show and tell
Here are two of eight illustrations I created for a Scott Foresman reading program. Jane is a young girl whose family is moving from their home in the country, to an apartment in the city. Jane isn't very happy about the move, in fact, she's quite upset. The illustrations walk the reader through Jane's move as she and her family pack up the truck and drive through a scenic country side. The landscape changes from a background of wildflower painted rolling hills to a busy cityscape of highrise buildings and congested traffic. In the end, Jane's new room was just the same as before. The only difference is tall buildings peek through her window now.
I didn't have much time to create the illustrations, and I wanted to photograph an actual family in the process of moving. Just by coincidence, a family directly across the street from us was moving in the same day I started creating sketches. I wanted to go over and introduce myself, explain what I do for a living, then take pictures of them while they unloaded their moving truck.
The people in our neighborhood tend to be a bit uppity. We've never had much luck doing the new neighborly thing. My wife has went as far as baking cookies and writing out little welcome cards to new neighbors only to have cool distant waves returned. So I've resigned to keeping my distance and doing what the other neighbors do — force a smile and wave. I just wonder what went through my new neighbor's minds as they unloaded their valuable possessions from the back of a moving truck, with me standing watch across the street taking digital photos of them in my black ball cap and paint covered jeans.