Rainforest Adventure was born from mixing a poem I wrote with my daughter’s drawings. I identified in the poem the words that could turn into yoga poses, which had already been used in my kids yoga classes, and posed for my daughter to draw. She is currently 13 years old and likes to give a cartoon style to her drawings; I think it looks cute that way, maybe I am biased. Besides the fact that I have a hard time drawing something better than stick figures…
Anyway, below is an example of an original drawing (on the left) done by my daughter when I posed as a parrot (adaptation of a yoga pose for kids yoga) for her. She drew my body parts but came up with the idea for the face herself. Later, when it got digitalized to the computer (the cropped picture on the right), my friend Luciana, the illustrator, changed a few things like the position of the bent leg and the person’s face, because we decided to add diversity to the book. If you have the book, you will notice every child representing a yoga pose in the book looks different – one has brown skin, another one has freckles, another one is blonde, etc. That was done on purpose; and luckily I had freedom to choose that since the book is a poem, not a story with limited characters.
Luciana exercises regularly, but does not practice yoga as much as I do, therefore not knowing the poses by heart. So, many times during the making of the book, I sat with her, gave her my daughter’s drawings and pointed to a website (Yoga Journal, as mentioned in my book) and a yoga book (Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar) with those poses and gave her freedom to change what she believed was needed. She would send me the drawing back for adjustments and approval later. Luciana was very patient in going back to the illustration and adjusting details, such as the foot more to the right, knee more visible, or feet together. Her website is http://lulacon.com, which you should definitely check out, as she is a great artist and reliable professional you can count on for your digital art’s needs.
It was a very fun and rewarding process to see my words and ideas turning into this book. Meanwhile, my daughter appreciated her drawings being digitalized and coming to life; now, printed inside a book, which she takes pride in. She enjoyed kids yoga classes with me and other students as much as she could. Now that she got bumped up into the teen class, mostly for schedule conflicts with the kids yoga times, she sometimes asks me to do some poses at home with her that she remembers from kids’ classes, but are too silly to be done with the teen group. I encourage her to keep her inner child active, as I think t is very beneficial to all of us.