Children of the World Art Cards
To illustrate these 26 children from around the world, was an amazing journey. I had to create one character that could represent an entire country in a manner that was postive, realistic, individual, and contemporary. No small task!
The first challenge was to pick 26 countries (from nearly 200 in the world) to represent each letter of the alphabet.
This process, between me and the eeBoo owner and creative director Mia Galison, went back and forth for several weeks. We started with the letters that only had one option: Oman, Qatar, Yemen and Wales. Mia suggested Xanadu for X, since there is no country at this time that begins with X. We worked to represent all continents, and to highlight small (Dominica) as well as large (USA, India, China) countries. As I went along I made choices so that there would be 13 boys and 13 girls.
Then it was time to learn about countries all around the world so that I could show physical traits in the faces, and cultural traits in the clothing, flooring and props that were authentic and yet individualized. I used books and looked at thousands of photographs on the internet. I did not use photos from the those that rose to the top of the google search, as they were often inaccurate, stereotypical, or negative. For the school uniform of the girl from Oman, I found a school website that showed students playing sports and preparing for the science fair. For India, I sifted through page after page of current clothing catalogues of children's clothing from India. For the girl from China, I simply copied a photograph of a girl I had met while traveling in the Yunnan Province.
It was a great adventure, and I hope children are inspired by this product to do their own exploring!