Samantha Fowler BFA Illustration Thesis Spring 2017

Roux's Book of Stars

Roux is a seven year old kid that decided to make up his own constellations. He keeps his stories in a field guide, ‘Roux’s Book of Stars’. The book is a combination of the characters imagination, his storytelling, his drawings, and photography of him.

I created a needlefelted foot tall version of Roux, complete with a back pack, pencil pouch, and to-scale version of his book. Creating Roux was important to me for his character development- I learn more about a character when I actually bring them to life.

Most of Roux’s stories come from a combination of my childhood and my little brother’s. I wanted to convey that Roux is a real character with a whole story behind him without having to get into the details of his daily life. He gets spaghetti on his birthday like I do, he plays the trumpet like my brother does, he loves Willow Trees like my mom. But this is not auto-biographical- I just wanted to show that pulling from your daily life is an easy way to tell stories.

Roux exists in a world of imagination and nostaligia. He does not interact with digital technology because his world is built around one of creation. Everything he does comes from his own head- Systematic research has demonstrated a series of benefits of children’s engagement in pretend games from the ages of two and a half to about six or seven. Pretend play allows the expression of both positive and negative feelings, the modulation of affect, and the ability to integrate emotion with cognition. An easy way to focus a kid on ‘play’ is storytelling- allowing them to create their own worlds. Roux’s character is both an example of a kid benefitting from storytelling and showing others how its done- his book is an example of just how easy it is to go out and create from your imagination.

60 albums

Spring 2017