The Emerald Forest is a project which definitely gave me something to celebrate this March. Many illustrations I can be very proud of came to life in this beautiful month. And not to forget Petra, the author of this magical meditation, whom I got a chance to meet and who gave me the opportunity to prove and express myself creatively through my part of the project. And she has such a warm personality, too, this Petra.
It took me about a month and a half to finish this project. I've created 25 illustrations which are telling a story of a child who sets off on this wonderful journey to the Emerald Forest. The child meets many animals along the way who help him understand his own feelings and deal with the ones that are not so pleasant. There are animals who comfort him, some give him hope and a sense of security, the other ones bring him joy and happiness.
I decided to use a limited scale of colours for the illustrations because I feel this gives a fine touch of lightness to them and doesn't make them too noticeable. Also, the white colour of the paper worked to my advantage as it enabled the characters to breathe. Despite the fact that the story is happening at night, I wanted to place the characters into a lighter scenery as it perfectly portrays an atmosphere of surreal scenes, a world of our own thoughts and emotions, making us realise anything is possible. I'm really curious about how many children will actually notice this. They are keen observers! Personally I see these illustrations as a nice starting point for further discussions related to the story, for a talk about meditation, associations with different colours and what might be the symbolic meaning behind them.
I would like to thank you all for showing your interest and support during the making of this project!
You can order your own copy of the picture book from Petra.