Super Simple Sumi-e

Written and Illustrated by Yvonne Palka

Our challenge was to guide the author in creating a simple how-to book for young to older children, based on the success of the sumi painting demonstrations she had been doing in schools to promote her middle grade fantasy novel, illustrated in sumi-e. The book would needed to have instructional value that art educators would appreciate as well as instant, striking visual appeal that would inspire both children and adults. We developed a narrative storyboard featuring bright, horizontal spreads that are appealing and practical for young painters learning brush painting. The storyboard has a playful, wandering quality that gently leads young painters from easy to more challenging painting instructions – in a voice that conveys the author/artist’s trademark enthusiasm. We developed a special section at the back of the book with photographs of the basic sumi-e painting materials needed to make the paintings shown in the book, and demonstrations of simple sumi-e brush strokes. This award-winning book has been praised by sumi painters, art teachers, and children alike, for its beautiful, clean presence and educational excellence in helping children and adults learn how to bring to life animals, birds, and ultimately dragons, through sumi painting. The author/illustrator of this book is now a popular guest at schools and bookstores.

  • Illustrated How-to Picture Book + Narrative Concept, Extensive Editorial Development
  • Identified key audiences: Children’s Bookstores, Asian Art Museums, Art Education
  • Branding & Marketing strategy targeting these audiences
  • Content Strategy: Book Packaging, Website, Newsletter, Painting Workshops, Print Promotion
  • High Profile Endorsements
  • Silver Medal Winner, Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards