Monday, September 28, 2015
a month-long project comes to a successful close
yesterday, we wrapped up a group project, decorating the wall in our new library's minibib - the library for the littlest kids (age 0-6). seven of us in total worked on the project over the month of september. the brief was to take inspiration in the children's books illustrated by swedish illustrator helena davidsson neppelberg. her simple style, filled with bright colors and flat illustrations with no shadows or contours is perfect for a children's library. but, we also decided that we wanted it to feel very contemporary, so the figures would have a street art quality - where although we didn't use templates, we wanted them to look like they were done from templates and if there was color, it would be one single color or at most two. we wanted whimsy and without violating any copyrights, to create imagery that the children would recognize. i think, in the end, we achieved this, but it was an interesting process.
reining in 7 different creative people and keeping them on track is no easy task. each of us wanted to leave our mark and sneak in our own unique style somehow. it presented some challenges along the way. again and again, we discussed the brief and all agreed and again and again, people went ahead and did their own thing.
it was inevitable that some of those things didn't work in relation to the brief. and it was inevitable that they had to be done over. and because of the nature of women and how hard we are on one another (why do we do that?), we didn't always talk about it constructively. but we kept coming back to the brief and what our "customer," the library, wanted and needed the wall to be. and in the end, it worked out.
there are touches of everyone's personalities. and there are plenty of fun and sweet details for the children to discover. the silhouette of a little girl on the far side will be lifted by papier maché balloons (once they dry and can be attached) and the steps, which husband beautifully constructed, will have a whimsical papier maché dinosaur fixed upon them, to discourage climbing and keep them a bit safer than they are now (we had visions of those tiny ones crawling up and falling off the sides). we hope the children will enjoy it for years to come.