Archive for September 2, 2010
Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Illustrated by: Lucy Knisley
This sixth chapter begins the two-day ceremony; an annual ritual that advances every age group within the community by presenting them with items that signify age status. Jonas, being twelve, will go last and receive his “assignment” that will be his job for the rest of his life.
The book doesn’t detail every year’s ceremonial gift, but goes into the psychology of it a little bit by explaining some of the reasoning behind the objects. The back-buttoned jacket is meant to teach interdependence, as you had to rely on your classmates and family to do up the buttons. The front-buttoned jacket begins to promote independence. It’s fascinating to imagine what the unmentioned years might receive.
I remember being especially disturbed by the finality of the “assignments” when I was twelve and read this for the first time, and thinking, “Twelve-years-old is nowhere near old enough to choose a profession.”
Now when I read it, I think, “These ceremonies must be so BORING for people my age– adults without children of their own to participate in the ceremonies!”
Sorry I was late this month!
Meg and Claire looked at each other. They could hear the clock over the stove, ticking. They could hear doves in the courtyard. They wanted this moment to last forever. The sunlight was orange. They had to remember that. Meg would make certain they did. She fetched a piece of paper and wrote down the word orange, then folded the paper in half. They could cut up pears and and write down all the colors of the light and listen to people laugh and smell the blooms on the chestnut tree and forget about the rest of the world. They wanted to stay in their grandmother’s apartment always, but instead they would have this memory of sitting in the kitchen, being happy.”
I chose to illustrate The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman. I love Alice Hoffman’s stories. They’re based in real life but the worlds she weaves are magical. She combines a lot of fantasy and drama elements. The imagery is so rich, dark, romantic, and poetic. While I’m reading her novels a lot of images take over my mind. It’s actually hard to read her books without constantly putting them down to sketch.
The scene I chose to illustrate is of the one of the Story sisters. There are three sisters: Elv is a rebel and the oldest, Meg is the middle child, and Claire is the most optimistic (and the youngest). I wanted to depict Meg in the scene where the sisters are in Paris. There’s a lot of tragedy in this book, but this moment was memorable. The one moment Meg was happy and hopeful. I took a bit of liberty in symbolizing this moment as a locket. A deep and personal treasure to remember and reflect upon this memory.
Sashiko Yuen just graduated with a BFA in Art + Design. In university she studied painting, illustration, bookmaking, and couldn’t stop reading graphic novels. She currently spends her days writing short stories and painting strange pictures. And you won’t stop her till she’s dead. She drinks lots of tea and smells old books while nobody is looking. You can find her work at
but she honestly updates her flickr more often:
. And her shop is here:
(which she is always working to improve).