Hi, my name is Tjaša Rener and I am a young artist, a painter and an illustrator. I get the energy and the inspiration for my work from a beautiful African country Ghana, where I decided to live. During my studies graphics attracted my interest immensely and it became an important part of my artistic work. I spent most of my time at the academy researching the graphic technique of the sieve printing(screen print) which I also used to print my book A Story from Africa.
I have illustrated a few books but the book A Story from Africa is my first independent book. A Story from Africa is handmade and excellent in visual design. I printed and bound the book myself. The illustrations are from my sketchbook, I made them with local children, during my first staying in Ghana. They are a kind of a 'result' of a communication between the children from the remote village Anyinatiase and me. Their way of expression fascinated me so strongly I decided to leave my canvas and made a book instead.
This is a story about the real life in this village. The main character in the book and a teller of the story is a girl called Doris, who lives in the village and is my best friend. The book is an atlas, a dictionary, a cookbook, an ethnologic encyclopedia and a sketchbook at the same time. Children's drawings tell the story of life in the village through the eyes of the eleven years old girl. Sentences are simple and easy to understand also for the youngest readers.
The contents of the story playfully and in a likeable manner show the life in a remote African village to the adult reader and the child alike. I wrote it in English, therefore, people from different parts of the world can read it, also the children in Ghana, and it encourages the children from all over the world to read.
The book’s format 30x40cm exceeds the format of a classic picture book. In choosing a format, its function prevailed. This book is not only an object for reading but also a coloring book and a sketchbook.
The book is printed on recycling paper, Cordenons Impressive Papers – FLORA FSC Noce 240g/m2 and it holds 48 pages. A few pages at the back of the book are blank for sketching. The cover of the book is printed in a relief print (blind printing).
A handmade bag completes the book. The linen bag is in natural colour and in the front, there is a pocket for postcards with motifs from the book and four pencils. The bag has an aesthetic and an applicable function – it is easier to carry around a book in a bag. At the same time, we have everything we need for drawing and writing at hand. We can also use the bag for other purposes, e.g. as a shopping bag.
I made 20 books and each of them is the same. At a first glance, the book seems to be a finished item but its contents invites the reader to cooperate, to interact. The book changes when a reader decides to interfere. The process of creation continues, it is transferred to the reader and it ends with the reader's intervention. By completing the book, a reader creates a unique, individual image of the book and becomes a co-author of my work.
First, I wanted to make a connection between the children from the African village and the children from the developed countries. In the times of fast growing technologies and abundance that mark the modern people, I wanted to bring near, especially to the children, the life that people in non-developed countries are living now. The book is beneficial also for the readers from the African countries. They link up through the story that is familiar to them and the book because of its interactive role encourages them to read.
Second, the book is not for reading only, its advantage is also in the active role of a reader who has to complete it. The interactive contents encourage a reader to identify with the story.
Books are for reading and their meaning is fulfilled when we read them. We can read if the book is accessible. The contents of the book A Story from Africa is educational and important in our time, and I would like to publish it and make it accessible to the readers all over the world. The aim of my project is to publish the book and bring its story to younger readers, and with its fine design, I would like to suit all the other book lovers, too. In Africa, it is difficult to buy a book (especially a picture book) and only a few people are able to read. A part of my project is to donate the book to the local schools, libraries and to the children, and thus encourage them to read more. The published book will be smaller variety, but design will be the same like original book.
Your contribution will make publishing this book possible, bringing my story to you and many others. I hope you recognize the value in this work and will consider supporting it.
My special thanks goes to;
Lucia Klanšek | business advisor
Vid Brezočnik | designer, press preparation
Matevž Cvetković | owner of Cocoa village guesthouse
Tomaž Kondrič | owner of Cocoa village guesthouse
Elvis Halilović | technical support
Amanda Mlakar | publisher and translator
Lara Lesjak | printing support
Andreja Sekavčnik | printing support
Photo: Urška Boljkovac, Bojan Senjur
Risks and challenges
Because I live in really remote place, without network, I won’t be able to give simultaneously answers, but I promise that I will reply a few times a week on your questions.
Every effort will be made to deliver your rewards by December 2013, but please understand if unforeseen circumstances cause delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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