I wrote, designed and illustrated Mirra and the Magic Cello. The idea behind the book is that it is a “model” for a life-sized book that people could walk through and read as they traveled through the exhibit. I assigned a new context to the idea of a book. For this new context, I had to consider the 3 dimensional qualities of an exhibit and theatre arts productions because I designed it so that each spread is “scene” almost like a separate room. I had in my mind that it was meant to ultimately be an exhibit appealing to several senses. It is a pop-up book of sorts in which each spread creates a 3-dimensional scene from the story with the text somewhere in the scene. I envision projecting the text into the scene and incorporating music played by the cello as part of the experience, too. I wanted to challenge the way in which we think about the word “interactive”. I think that to many, the word “interactive” is synonymous with most things digital.
Ethel's Very Important Potion
Ethel’s Very Important Potion is a book that challenges the form of traditional physical books. The form of this book is an apothecary cabinet of 24 small drawers with ingredients for potions conjured by a witch named Ethel. The drawers in the cabinet are interchangeable so that the order in which the audience finds the correct ingredients to mix the potion can change. Experimenting with the form in this case helps to begin to answer some questions i had: What if the pages weren’t “pages” as we know them but something else? At what point is a book in any form (physical or digital) no longer perceived as a book?
Play with Me
This book is still a work in progress.
When I was looking at places to apply to for an MFA program, I was especially attracted to Vermont College of Fine Arts because, in addition to a brand new Graphic Design program, there is an existing program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I thought it would be a really interesting project to illustrate and design a picture book written by one of these students. I proposed the idea to the Graphic Design program director and the program chair in my 1st semester and in my 3rd semester, that plan came to fruition. For the last year, I have been working on this project with the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at VCFA. In this project, the roles were defined on paper as lisa rasmussen; Art Director, Book Designer and Illustrator and Tziporah Cohen; Author.
In reality, however, I found that I was part author of this story and that Tziporah had ideas about the illustrations and design of the book, making her part Art Director. We both found ourselves totally immersed in this project. We were working on this book together, but we also shared with each other additional work we were doing and some of that work informed the picture book that we were working on. This project was a unique approach to producing a children’s picture book. It was a “conversation” in a way, between designer/illustrator and author. The conversation actually began in a unique way. It began with some illustrations whereas a picture book typically begins with a manuscript. Several illustrations and a little bit of back story about my intent were sent to the picture book advisor, at Vermont College of Fine Arts who then charged her five students to author a story inspired by the illustrations. The five stories were sent to me without the authors names attached. I was asked to choose one. After reading them all and carefully considering the possibilities I chose Play withMe by (I found out later) Tziporah Cohen. Once all of that was decided, the conversations between Tziporah and I began. There were also several conversations between the two of us and the rest of the picture book students, their advisor and my advisor. All of the conversations were invaluable assets in producing the book.
Number 5 and the Dragon
I wrote illustrated and designed this book. It is somewhat autobiographical. I chose to make the characters numbers and to incorporate letters into some of the illustrations. This book was self published as a project for my MFA in Graphic Design.