A Superstar Pencil (Sept 2013)

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.

initial drawings
initial drawings

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.

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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.

My mom (a long time teacher) and me

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.

(Photo credit: Carmen Ramos)
Angel Barrios, Exec Dir, reads my book to an audience of Pre-K teachers during back to school season. (Photo credit: Carmen Ramos)
“WOW, I was so impressed and inspired by the story, the photos of the children and most importantly the impact it made in you.” – Angel Barrios, Executive Director of IHSD Inc.


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