The thought of creating my own book never occurred to me until I helped design a work project on a job about a year after I stopped teaching. The project was to create a memory book with photos and text based on our own layouts via Blurb.com, an online self-publishing platform. Curious to try this on my own, I wanted to create my own book using photos from my classroom experience and to design it as a children’s book.
With my former students in mind, I was inspired by the Parable of the Pencil, a story that encourages self-confidence. The parable was religious in nature, so I adapted it into my own non-religious version using pencils as the main characters. I hand drew illustrations and then scanned them into my computer. I used Adobe Photoshop to color the drawings and paired them with scenes using photos I took of my classroom days.
I used Adobe InDesign for the book layout and then submitted it to Blurb.com for printing. The entire book project took around four months to complete.
My goal of this first book project was to just explore my creative process in creating a children’s book, and I was only able to afford to print a few copies.
I sent one of them to my former school site with a note a note that read, “My former students inspire me to help design a better world for them.” My book is seen below being read aloud to a room of my former Pre-K teacher colleagues during back to school season.