Jae Cowen: Our Amazing Planet

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Artist Statement

Nature was so important and influential to me as a child, and as an adult, it is one of the only spaces that helps me with anxiety in a world that usually heightens it. As the author, illustrator, constructor, and designer of this project, I aimed to ignite the same sense of excitement and curiosity in young readers about the natural world that I have, while also instilling a sense of responsibility for its preservation.

Through colorful illustrations and a rhyme pattern, the book invites children to explore different ecosystems and also hints at some ways to protect them. In a world increasingly dominated by technology, I believe it's essential to provide children with tactile, sensory experiences if you want to captivate their attention, hints the pop-up aspect. This process involved a lot of research, X-acto knives, and patience, but I am overall very happy with how it came out and think that the Pop-up format will help make this book hold children’s attention.

It is so crucial for all humans, not just kids, to think deeply about the planet and how their actions can affect its future. This is why I included some “easter eggs” for adults who read the book to find as well. Through hidden graphs and extra text, more mature readers will see some more pressing data that isn’t so “kid-friendly” but gives a taste of how important switching to a more sustainable lifestyle and mentality is for everyone.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: Our Amazing Planet
  • Medium: 8.5 x 5.5 x 2 in. Hard Bound, Children's Pop-Up Book with 10 Pages.
  • Student's Name: Jae Cowen
  • Major: Art
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: 24-May
  • Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
  • Student's Mentor: Ric Wilson
  • Mentor's Department: Graphic Design