Angry Tomato Case Study – Giving Wings to Sara’s Storytelling Talent!
Kids have a vivid imagination and we were so honoured to be part of being able to showcase one such wonderful creativity. Here is what we did with the help of MIT Gurukul in portraying the amazing skill set and storytelling ability of Sera Mukherjee
Exploring Sera’s Extraordinary Thought Process
When Rama Ma’am (Principal at MIT Gurukul) introduced us to this PYP’s 5th grader, IB school student, we saw a shy, nervous girl at first. But once we got to know her more, we realised this girl has an extraordinary talent.
Sera is a special child with an amazing artistic mind, has a vivid imagination and great language skills. We were amazed to know that she has written almost 11 unique stories, with illustrations. She has each character well defined and also has each scene choreographed with camera angles too.
The IB school curriculum develops each child with numerous qualities which are far different than normal schools’ curriculum. In IB school they do not teach children by keeping morals in front of them. They teach different concepts & help students decide the moral on their own. We experienced all of this while taking a walk through the beautiful & humongous campus of MIT Gurukul.
The Challenge Sera was Facing:
Dimpal Ma’am & Prasuna Ma’am gave us fruitful insight into the concepts taught in IB school. The original story had a few missing links. There were concepts but not highlighted.
Being an artist, our emotional attachment with Sera begins when we dove through her stories. Our gift, big brand new sketchbook along with a bundle of crayons made her felt comfortable with us.
When asked where does she sees her book going, she answered ‘I know where it’s not going, that’s mountains and rivers!’ She wanted to see her storybook in Crossword.
Among all the stories she was eager to see published ‘The Angry Tomato’. And it was up to us to make her dream a reality.
We bridged the gaps by highlighting those concepts like misunderstanding, responsibility, being panicked, being angry etc. At every stage of the storybook making, Sera was asked for her review of the work done.
Through the empathy round, we got a complete idea about the requirements. We redrew each scene with a few alterations. We presented Sera, the story we polished by mending the holes and gaps in the original one.
The format of the book was going to be ‘More Illustrations, fewer Words’ since it would help kids relate to the drawings.
After 2 storyboarding drafts, we had the final layout in front of us.
After finalizing the storyboard, we turned to give life to characters of the story: Lisa, Elvie, Hero Tomato and Mr Angry Tomato.
Kids can relate to the characters which they can easily redraw. Considering this fact, we tried to keep the characters as simple as possible. We gave them personality based on their role in the story.
The Visual Appeal
We gave the hand-drawn appearance to the storybook to make the experience humble. We tried different media for the feel, like crayons, pencils, oil pastels, watercolours, poster colours… with a number of papers and textures. Along with this, there was an array of digital tools we tried out to get the desired results. Stroke by stroke, the characters started coming to life.
We were passionate & excited to launch the youngest story writer of MIT Gurukul, the IB school. With amazing planning & dedication, the entire work was delivered by only 3 people! From empathy to :
- Costumes for characters
- Scenes preparation
- Backgrounds preparations
- Details and more details
Everything was done in the given timeline.
Colours and Font Selection:
Since the story is for kids and a very energetic one at that, we went for a bright colour palette with a red, blue, green and yellow and bold yet simple font. These colours & fonts helped a lot in defining particular emotions and moods. There was a lot of colourfulness in the scenes to add the required drama to the story.
The Finalized Look:
We tried different colours, textures, strokes by printing them on various paper types with various finishes. We printed a sample copy of the storybook after all the details & corrections. When we got the final look of the book and the copies were packed in a pretty pink box to be presented to Sera, all the hard work had paid off.
You could say – It was a celebration at PugMarker!
Sera wrote ‘Hello World’ in her book’s acknowledgement with a proud feeling. She already sees her storybook going in every corner of the world.
The book launching was on Sera’s PYP 5th grade Graduation Day. We were excited to see the surprise and joy on Sera’s face when her book was unveiled in the room full of teachers, her friends, classmates and their parents, and Sera’s father, Mr Soumitra Mukherjee as well. She was out of words when she described how happy she was and how much she wanted her father and her friends to see the book.
We felt really worthwhile when we watched as Sera gave her first Autograph on her storybook, as a 9-year-old published author.
We knew that we had just designed happiness for her 🙂