Summing up the “Star Child” experience

The concept for my short story book, “Star Child,” was to create a visual vehicle to match the story’s major symbols–stars and indigo. My concept is original, marrying my personal experience of being in Timbuktu for one week in July of 1994 and the memory of the sky’s starry canopy. The story links the myth of wishing upon the stars (Pinocchio and others) with the culture of New Orleans conjure (my family’s heritage) as well as the Akua Ba story from Akan cultural lore. The crudely tanned leather and African motifs on the leather worked well for that ancient manuscript look that I was going for.

I was challenged to work neatly and persistently. I knew that there were going to be a lot of little tasks to attend to in order to make the final project look professional and polished than my last attempt at midterm.

With regard to craftsmanship, I definitely stepped up my game on cutting the paper with more precision. I need to work on covering the covers of my book more effectively. Notwithstanding, I like the way it looks. I am pleased.

I used the form as best I could. The Coptic stitch was difficult for me and I wanted to master it. I am fascinated with all things Ethiopian, since I carry the name of his majesty Haile Selassie I. The only way that I can improve on this form is to experiment with a different kind of thread, maybe a leather thread to match or contrast the color of the leather.

The front cover of the book reflects two of the major ideas in the short story. I insisted upon using the Tuareg leather made in northern Mali. The recycled leather from the pillow adds to the frame story and the enduring myth of return.

My graphic choices include the use of a picture of a mysterious man in the colophon, the Helvetica font lettering from Staples, and the handwritten story to match the technology available to the Coptic scribes.

I didn’t want to call the book Etoile (Star in French), I wanted to capture the gist of the story in the two-word title pointing to the story’ major plot element.

The most significant thing that I will change only relates to learning In Design. I am sure that I could have found a font that looks like handwriting. I am satisfied with the structure, the process I followed, and the construction of the book.

Overall, I am happy with my story. I will continue to work on it for submission for publication.


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