Interdisciplinary Success Story: Book Illustration

Eric Carle

I consider the developmental process of creating successful book illustrations as interdisciplinary. I was reading this article by Hana Hladikova about the process of successful children book illustration and I have found it to be an interesting process. First of all, when you’re creating text and illustrations you have to be attuned to the age of your audience and what vocabulary/visuals they can comprehend. Therefore, maybe the illustrator will have to do research or talk with teachers that are around children of that age range daily. Then the illustrator will have a better insight on what those children can understand. Picture books can also entertain people who can’t read, their power to inspire is vast!

Multidisciplinary work is also important in this process because in some situations, there is a writer and an illustrator working together to create a picture book. They have to collaborate on what picture would go best with the text or maybe even the other way around. Successful children’s books have the ability to help children learn new vocabulary and important lessons, as well as contributing to children’s imaginations. Honestly, with all the new technology and electronic reading devices, I believe that children’s books are a valuable thing to have. I know as a kid I have learned a lot through reading and looking at pictures. One of my favorite book illustrators as a kid was Jan Brett (this is a Pinterest page of some of her unique illustrations).

The cover design of a children’s book is one of the most important marketing tools that publishing industries use to gain business. The market is very competitive. This process is interdisciplinary because the illustrator has to collaborate with an art directors. This is very important because art directors can provide an educated opinion on the artwork. Art directors are useful because they have a different set of experience when it comes to viewing art and they look at it from a different perspective than the illustrator.

Creating a children’s picture book is a long process that involves many people in different fields working together as a team. Lots of children’s picture books are highly successful and children learn many valuable things from them.


Art is a Discipline

My program is called, “Expressive Arts” and the disciplines within art therapy are art and psychology. I choose art as my discipline, in a sense I believe that art can be largely defined. In an epistemological definition I would say art uses the process of creating through different mediums (painting, ceramics, etc.) to give meaning to a piece of artwork. I believe that universally, when people create art there usually is a meaning behind the masterpiece. Creating art can come from your imagination, it can be based off a story and the best thing about art is that anybody can create it, regardless of their skill level. Art can be categorized as multidisciplinary because there are many different types of a CC0 Public Domain Free for commercial use No attribution required.rt mediums such as painting, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, etc.

Every artist is different, everyones interests are different. Artists content of their artwork can be based on their designs and skill level. I really enjoy surrealist art and I have been influenced mostly by Salvador Dali and David Wiesner. Recently I was trying to come up with ideas for a surrealist drawing/watercolor painting and I remembered a book I read when I was a child. However, the only thing I remember about the book was the illustrations, I remember that the plot was about a cloud factory. I did some research and now I realize that the book is called, “Sector 7” and the author/illustrator is David Wiesner.

My artwork! Still in progress!

The reason why I transferred to Plymouth State University is because I heard that the art department had a good reputation. Now that I have taken a number of art classes at PSU I can definitely vouch for that. How would I describe art classes? (Laughs stressfully) Well…depending on the class, most art classes are about two and a half hours long and very intensive. For example, I am taking an Advanced Painting course, don’t get me wrong, the course content is great, the class is just time consuming and the work is demanding. Currently, we are working on a painting inspired by a mother goose rhyme. I choose the rhyme, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, the rhyme is based on the figure known as “Bloody Mary.” So I did a painting of a bloody mary drink in a sort of collage style with some silver bells, flowers and a bible (Bloody Mary was killed by Protestants). However, despite all the work, who should be complaining if you get to paint the entire class?! Another class that I am taking is Advanced Drawing, I enjoy that class because it is self-guided and we get to design our own drawings. I figured out that I work better when I just begin to draw something that I picture in my head and then continue from there. One thing that I could live without in the art world is critiques. Now I know they can be helpful but most of all they can be BORING. There is always that one person who does not know how to take criticism constructively and gets really defensive. However, most of the artists I’ve encountered have given me some very helpful pointers during critiques, I just wish the critiques were shorter.

If you would like to read about artists, art history, artwork or anything to do with art, there are some pretty awesome journals out there! Here are just a couple that I found fascinating, Oxford Art Journal, College Art Association and Academic Journals. If you are interested in art organizations, her are a couple that I would recommend, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts and Regional Arts Association.

Art is Therapy

The program I have created is called, “Expressive Arts.” Essentially, expressive arts, in a broader term, is labeled “Art Therapy.” I am combining art, psychology, and writing courses to create this successful program. I transferred to Plymouth State University from College of the Atlantic at the beginning of my junior year. At that time, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to major in. I transferred with 45 credits in various subjects and, when I declared my Studio Art Major, most of those transferred courses only counted as electives. Honestly, I was very disappointed that I had taken all those great courses at College of the Atlantic and only a couple of them counted towards the Studio Art Major. Throughout my college years, I have also had a difficult time in tying myself down to one major. I enjoy a lot of different subjects. Therefore, when I found out about the Interdisciplinary Studies Major, I was overjoyed because I had the chance to integrate some of my transfer courses with my Plymouth State University courses to create a program that is valuable to my education. The reason why the Studio Art Major, or in general, any major offered at Plymouth State University will never satisfy my needs, is because my interest for other subjects besides art is very important to me. I strongly believe that this will impact my success in the future. I am much more interested in pursuing an Interdisciplinary Studies Major and have three focuses, rather than pursuing a Studio Art Major and

Colorful Tree (Oil Pastel)

have only one focus.

Within my contract, I have included a variety of amazing art, psychology, and writing classes that I have taken at College of the Atlantic and Plymouth State University. There are even a couple classes that I still plan to take at Plymouth State University. For my art courses, I have included Introduction to Art and Design because demonstrating the basic concepts of art, perspective, color theory, and understanding how to give constructive critiques, is an essential skill. It is also an integral part of learning how to express yourself, your ideas, and your style. I have included Art Foundations 2D Design because of the importance for an artist to help a client successfully view their artwork in beneficial way. This is an important concept for an expressive artist because clients are going to be creating their artwork and you want them to create visuals that are not bothersome to them. I have included Art Foundations Drawing Line and Language because it is very important that clients investigate, visualize, and create their own ideas through sketching, drawing, or using any medium that allows for them to represent themselves. I have included Art Foundations Digital Media because this generation always seems to be connected to some type of social media, and I believe that it’s useful to learn about the emerging trends in new media technology, and how those trends effect the artistic world. I believe that after graduate school, when I begin my art therapy practice, I will use social media to generate an audience. I will most likely create a website in where I will need the knowledge to create an ascetically pleasing website. Painting Theory and Process has taught me a lot about color and mark making. Through my experience, painting is very therapeutic and it is also a great way to

Charcoal Still Life            

relieve stress. Relieving stress through creating art can come in many different forms. It can serve as a distraction (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes), it has the ability to create a sense of relief, creating art can help clients express fears and through displaying these fears comes a sense of empowerment. I have included Painting Personal Themes because this course has helped my personal growth as an artist. As a soft-spoken individual, I rarely feel comfortable giving feedback during critiques because I am fearful that my opinion might not agree with the artist. However, since the class size is so small (there are four of us), I have been giving constructive feedback, and that has led me to work better with other artists. I put Advanced Drawing in my contract because the course is essentially self-guided. You are required to come up with your own project ideas and to communicate with your classmates. Effective communication is an important skill. I included Foundations of Sculpture: Representing the Body because in this society the image of the body is distorted. I believe that the “body” can be represented in many ways without an outline. It will be helpful to understand representations of the body, when interpreting future client’s artwork. For my last art class, I have included The Art of Sustainability. This course will help me find a better understanding on how sustainability can be a form of art. This is important because this course integrates science and art.




For my psychology courses, I have included Child Development, because I will be working with children of all age levels. This course gave me fantastic insight on the different theorists and the different styles of childhood growth. I taught a kindergarten art class and a sixth-grade art class at Mount Desert High School in Bar Harbor, Maine. Through that experience, I have gained an incredible amount of insight on how one age range behaves versus a whole different age range. I have included Personality and Social Development because the course explains the importance of the emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral development of human beings. I found this course to be beneficial in understanding basic social development, personality disorders, and educational theories. I have included Abnormal Psychology because this course will give me a better understanding of what the causes and methods of treatments are for neurosis, psychosis, personality disorde

Seashell Palette Knife Painting

rs, addictions, and psychophysiological problems. The last psychology course that I have included is Adolescent Psychology because it is essential to understand the physical, emotion and social development between puberty and adulthood. During the time of adolescence, many changes are occurring, this includes relations with parents and peers, which can be helpful to understand.

For my writing courses, I have included Starting Your Own Novel because being able to expressive yourself through writing is an important aspect of expressive arts. Being able to write a story that you came up with yourself involves self-expression, creativity, personal experience, courage, and imagination. These attributes are what art therapists are trying to bring out in clients. The second course that I have included is Creative Writing because I know through experience that being able to communicate your story/ideas and collaborate with others, is important when giving feedback and helpful criticism. You want your clients to have a sense that you care about their well-being, ideas, and thoughts.

My program is interdisciplinary because I am integrating three different disciplines to create my Expressive Arts Major. I am combining art, psychology and writing courses because they have helped me in many different incredible ways. They have led me to self-express, find creativity, and inspiration. They have helped me to understand how the human mind and emotions work. They have given me a better understanding on how to communicate and collaborate more efficiently with others. My expressive arts program will benefit me immensely in the future. The program will prepare me for Graduate School. Proceeding Graduate School, I will be prepared to help clients resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings. By doing this, it will help clients reduce stress, improve self-esteem and awareness, through creative processes and artistic expression.

Higher Education and Domains

CC By Emi Yanez

This post is in response to three articles about owning domains, interdisciplinary education and website safety. I definitely am excited to have a website in where I can put pictures of my artwork, written posts and posts about my life in general. I believe owning a domain is a cool idea because you can have all of your work and pictures in one place. However, I guess it never crossed my mind about website safety and choosing the personal information that you want to display about yourself. I like the quote from the article written by Andrew Rikard, “‘Domains’ is radical not because it is a technological shift, but because it encourages a pedagogical shift.”

This goes into the next article about higher education and interdisciplinary studies. In my honest opinion, I believe that given maybe ten to twenty more years, interdisciplinary majors will be highly popular because who doesn’t want to build their own major!? You get to basically pick your classes to form a major and this can be from a variety of different classes. I believe that is the coolest aspect of interdisciplinary studies is that it doesn’t confine your education,I am creating a major in where I am combining art, psychology and writing. I like the quote from the article written by Vartan Gregorian, ” the complexity of the world requires us to have a better understanding of the relationships and connections between all fields that intersect and overlap.” This is so important because if you’re confined to one specific major, you don’t get exposed to different subjects that you also might be interested in (besides from general education courses).