A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith | Skillshare Projects

Stephanie Faraci

Owner, Peetey and Peaches



A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The book I chose is my favorite: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". This is a lovely story about a young girl named Francie Nolan coming of age during the first two decades of the 1900s in ethnically and socioeconomically blended Brooklyn, NY.  Published in 1943, author Betty Smith's lyrical style creates quite a picture of Francie's story.

Absolute favorite quotation from the book:
"Let me be something every minute of my life.  Let me be gay, let me be sad.  Let me be hungry... have too much to eat.  Let me be ragged or well-dressed.  Let me be sincere- be deceitful.  Let me be truthful, let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin.  Only let me be something every blessed minute.  And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one piece of living is ever lost."

I definitely wanted to use this optimistic sentiment to set the tone of my design.

Although the book was filled with imagery and symbols, I felt commited to creating a letterform based on a tree.  Below is a sketch I did of an "S" starting with a base of hard, dark shapes that grows into a naturally curved and vine filled tree.

Some additional sketches I did were of harsh roots, representing the deeply rooted racism and poverty that existed during that time. There is also a whimical tree that my daughter described as a "My LIttle Pony Tree"; scratch that idea. A few  more variations of S-es and types of leaves are depicted as well.

This is the final version of my Book Cover.  I am not an illustrator; just someone who loves lettering and wants to continue growing my skillset.  I've just learned some basic components of Adobe Illustrator and am working to use my love of lettering to develop more in a hands on way using a subject I love. Constructive criticism welcome!


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