A FEAST OF FUNGI



TIMELINE
25 weeks

ROLES

Research
Art Direction
Layout
Illustration
Copywriting
TOOLS

InDesign
Illustrator
Photoshop
Procreate
Ink and Paper
TEAM
Independent




AT A GLANCE

The year 2015 saw an unexpected trend take off. You guessed it — coloring books! Roughly 12 million books were sold that year with the primary demographic being millenial women. Though the trend has peaked, Nikki VanRy of BookRiot states “there is still a steady market for adult coloring books”.

What started off as an idea for a coloring book soon developed into a mushroom activity book. Why? Well, visually, mushrooms have been a source of inspiration and interest to me for many years. What started off as an appreciation for their natural linework and textures evolved into pure fascination. I’ve been slowly absorbing facts about mushrooms throughout the last 8 years and finally thought I would do something with this knowledge.

GOALS
  1. Research and conduct interviews related in order to get key target demographic insights
  2. Design, illustrate, and source copy for the book
  3. Table and sell the book at the November 2020 Short Run Comix and Art Festival










A DIFFERENT TAKE ON COLORING BOOKS

The coloring book market continues to have a variety of themed books and audiences; however, much of the content sports a kitschy, nostalgic style. How might a different take on coloring books pique more interest and turn heads?


SOLUTION

An activity book that features edible, Pacific Northwest mushrooms! The book includes recipes, basic fungi learning, and foraging tips for the aspirational outdoor lover.

PROCESS


INTERVIEWS
This project began as a coloring book “seed” and grew into something much more. Interviewing individuals within the fungi, foraging, and Short Run communities proved to be a necessary and beneficial first step. My interview with Short Run co-founder, Eroyn Franklin helped guide me with how to frame the book and gave Short Run insights.

And in terms of fungi related feedback, my interviews with Puget Sound Mycological Society members helped to give key demographic insights. PSMS member, Brady Raymond, gave some great pointers. He shared some fun personal insights about his experience with foraging and also described engaging content for mushroom beginners. That included taxonomy on the fungi kingdom, basic foraging tips, and supplies. His ‘shroom guidance was most helpful for a newcomer like me.


PRODUCTION TIME
The research and discovery phase took about six weeks and a moodboard and visual direction were established near the tail end of this period.  The illustration phase began afterwards and creating the main drawing sheets proved to be a highlight of the project. I decided to draw them with pencil and ink on paper in order to give them a hand touched quality and an organic line weight. One difficult aspect of this phase was finding the balance between line weight and amount of detail. Someone pointed out that I had added too many details in one illustration, and they weren’t sure what to color in!

Upon completion of mushroom imagery, layout and design of the spreads started. Copywriting, recipe sourcing, cover design, and the completion of graphic assets made up the final phase of the project. Copywriting and recipe sourcing was a more tedious task as I wanted to include tried and true recipes. I sought out members in the foraging community and other culinary enthusiasts for recipe contributions.

SPREADS