Pop-up Aesop

Pop-up Aesop

Lacey Ellis

Artist Statement

In Pop-up Aesop, I connect traditional Aesop Fables to their moral lessons uniquely through sequential illustration, typographical technique, muted colors, textured material and handcraft. Aesop Fables are usually represented by a singular illustration, if any, but the application of multiple illustrations and pop-up techniques give the morals of the stories a new opportunity to connect with the material of the books and have a more lasting and meaningful effect for the viewer.

By reading to my daughter I have been re-exposed to children’s literature. Experiencing the enjoyment a book can bring a child has inspired me to create children’s books of my own. The Aesop Fables were a perfect choice for my books in the sense that there is no pre-developed imagery. These stories are very short, which can more easily keep a child’s attention, and provide meaningful moral lessons. I chose only to illustrate fables that were based off of animals to make the story relatable to all children. My animal characters are realistic in design however I took special care to give them friendly demeanors with fun expression.

This body of work consists of delicate handmade books that are comfortable to hold because of their scale, containing illustrations, hand drawn typography, patterns, and digital design. The illustrations emphasis key moments and ideas in the fables and provide a whimsical feeling to the imagery through layered pop-up and paper engineering techniques. The book covers are made livelier with screen-printed patterns and washed colors add texture and depth to the line based illustration style.

I have developed my pop up skills by studying Robert Sabuda’s techniques. My illustrative influence is E. H. Shepard, the original illustrator for Winnie the Pooh. Shepard’s style has affected my color choice and character development. Similar to Shephard’s illustrations I focus on line variation and simple details to describe a story through my characters.