Daniela Panigada Cook

Graphic Designer & Doodler



A Light in the Attic - Drop Cap


I went back and inked sketch 1, scanned it in and cleaned it up a bit rather than illustrating it digitally.

Digital Sketch Option 2

Digitized Sketch 2! Still not sure which one I like better. I do like the cleanliness of this design better than the previous but sketch 1 is more representative of Silverstein's illustrations. 

November 20th | Digital Sketch Option 1

I still haven't really decided between the first and second options so I'm taking a stab at digitizing both of them. I want to maintain the line quality of Silverstein's illustration so I was considering keeping them black and white, perhaps gray. Below are some variations. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Thursday, November 14th | Final Sketches

Would love your thoughts about these two final sketches.

Sketch 1 is a more developed version of the previous sketch 1.5. I thought maybe the previous sketch was too precious and needed a little more of the quirky characteristics of Silverstein's illustrations and poems. The illustrations are nods to various poems in the book (the hammock, the stack of hats and the kid holding a dish).

Sketch 2 is a more detailed version the concept of youth + wisdom and is my own interpretation and reaction to reading the poems as an adult. I added in the steps because they seem to suggest growth and transition and are also visually in line with the style of the book.


Monday, November 11th | Refined Sketches

I've landed on three (.5) favorite concepts. I would love to get feedback and thoughts on these.

Sketch 1 is based off of one of my favorite poems in the book. The poem is titled Hammock and it reads, 'Grandma sent the hammock, the good Lord sent the breeze. I'm here to do the swinging -- Now, who's gonna move the trees?' I'm Venezuelan, so hammocks have a special place in my heart (they are where I do most of my reading and relaxing) but it's taken me several years to live in a house with the right yard and tree configuration to be able to finally hang my beautiful hammock...so this poem just tugs at all of my heart/hammock strings :)

Sketch 1.5 is the same as above with the addition of the hats which are from a poem from the book titled, Mr.Smeds and Mr.Spats.

Sketch 2 is a combination of the creature steps and the light in the attic concepts that I sketched initially. The end result is a creepy, twisty stairwell that's lit up and possibly leads to some great place...maybe an attic.

Sketch 3 is a refined version of one of my earlier sketches. This idea is representative of my own (and maybe other people's) experience reading this book both as a naive and carefree child and then later as a 'wise' and grounded adult.

I would love your feedback or a vote for your favorite!


Brainstorming + sketches

In the process of re-reading the poems and doing some research on the world wide web I learned some interesting things. 

- Silverstein grew up feeling like an outcast and finding his identity in his sketches

- He lost his first child and first wife tragically

- 'A Light in the Attic' was banned from some libraries/bookstores because of inapropriate content in his poems such as, monsters, satan, and suicide.

- I realized that a lot of his poems had very adult themes, some with hints of darkness and irony.

- Some of the poems invoked warm feelings of childlike humor and innocence, others carried entirely new and loaded meaning, and some, I could simply appreciate for their sillyness.

- I keep coming back to the theme of contrast...light and dark, youth and adulthood, joy and pain, innocence and wisdom. Silverstein paints this contrast with his stark, simple black illustrations on white pages and what, at first glance seem like innocent poems are filled with sarcasm and messages for kids on 'how to' manipulate their parents.

A couple of my favorite concepts thus far...I love the idea of two intersecting characters who make up the letter 's.' The second sketch speaks to the connection between youth and adulthood that I have been exploring in re-reading Silverstein's poems.

I also wanted to explore a couple of different directions that were not necessarily in the style of Silverstein's illustrations.

I'll probably continue to explore these directions after a good night's sleep...but I would love and welcome any feedback!


Book Choice | A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

I chose this book because it's one of the few books in my life that I will never get tired of or forget about. I remember reading it all the time growing up and 'dog earing' all of my favorite poems. I found it again this summer during a garage sale at my parents house. Reading it as an adult has been really sweet and nostalgic and I'm looking forward to further exploration.


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