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the hiding kite

A story about a family storm

a picture book project born from personal experience, employing the Milk Carton Drypoint to express the nuanced challenges associated with domestic violence and mental health.

It was longlisted for the Illustrators Exhibition of Bologna Children's Book Fair 2024.

The creative process

 

“For the good of children, don't make them walk on both sides; it may lead to psychological issues.”

 

After the marriage storm, sewing the shape of home in hand... with no experience to guide, I've gone through every book about separation in the public library. A mother in the support group saying a few words and crying,  "They won't let my three-year-old daughter see me..." When I was embarrassed to talk about my seeking help experiences, others told me that they heard a story about courage. 

 

Three years ago, I embarked on this challenging journey—enrolling in MA Children's Book Illustration without prior art experience. In the first year, I scrapped more than lots of dummy books and started over. From initially covering large areas with ink shadows to an imperfect rabbit toy as a metaphor. The submitted assignment still couldn't make the teacher and classmates understand what terrible things happened to the mother in the story, prompting her to leave her original home.

 

Later, I explored various artistic avenues to depict domestic abuse, ultimately finding the transformative power of printmaking. In the book “Printmaking as Therapy”, Lucy Mueller White's insight sparked a revelation, showcasing how this indirect process could provide both creativity and therapeutic distance. In my research, I found that Quentin Blake's use of vulnerable materials for The Sad Book further inspired this approach, allowing for a nuanced exploration of sensitive themes within visual storytelling. By slowing down the intensity of visual aggression through deliberate plate limitations, I discovered a self-controlled and therapeutic space for exploration.

 

The intentional use of unconventional printing plates, like repurposed milk cartons, became a symbolic act of resilience and a nod to the impactful Domestic Violence Milk Carton Project. 

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