Olive Stephens BFA Illustration Thesis Spring 2021

Swint and Snuff’s Creature Compendium

Swint and Snuff’s Creature Compendium is a 40 page illustrated picture book for ages 9-12. The reader is invited to explore the world through a guidebook format written by the two mysterious authors, Lily Swint and Theodora Snuff— two victorian era naturalists with a penchant for adventure and discovery. Some of the creatures they detail include the Silver Snitch, a rascally little creature that steals and polishes silverware, a Petal Nil, a small petal loving rodent that hides among flowers and leaves, and the deeply mysterious entity, the MultiCat—whose origin and species no one clearly knows. The creatures draw from my experiences in the pacific northwest woods and Portland, and appeal to themes of nostalgia, magic, and whimsy. I have always taken interest in the small details of life in nature especially, and I strongly believe that seeing things as they really exist without judgement, whether or not they benefit humanity, is the first step to respecting them and protecting them. I hoped to express this ideology by asking the readers to take a look into the details of the lives of the creatures in this book, and to consider how they might intersect with our own lives. The nonlinear narrative grew from a very small project to something broader than I had ever imagined it being— It has gone from being a short-term idea into a starting point for a longer, several-book series that I hope to continue after graduation and create a series of book dummies to submit to publishers later. The ideal situation would be to submit this first dummy, and have it be picked up by a publisher to be continued in the series.

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