Words on Wheels

Words on Wheels is a program that puts poems by Baltimore school children on city buses to promote literacy and the arts. Students at MICA were asked to illustrate the poems. A committee will decide which students' work gets put on a bus in the next couple weeks.

I was assigned a poem called "Blessed Tears" by a Courtney Wilson, a 7th grader at Mount Royal Elementary and Middle School. It's a decidedly dark poem, much more than many of the others. Some of my initial sketches involved lots of arms surrounding a figure. I guess this was the first thing many people thought of... a couple other students assigned to this poem did something similar. I was encouraged to take one of my stranger sketches to final.

Words on Wheels, "Blessed Tears"

I used a brush and ink to create the drawing on different layers of tracing paper, then I scanned in the layers, and arranged and colored them with Photoshop. Here is how it might look with the text and Words on Wheels banner beside it:

Hypothetical layout for Words on Wheels project

Not sure how the Maryland Transit Authority will feel about this one, but I'm pretty pleased. Unfortunately there is not much room to be creative with the type. Also, as usual, Flickr took all of the oomph out of the color in the original file... so use your imagination!

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