June 14th, 2024

Young illustrator has work in new children’s book

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on May 31, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Author Stephanie Foreman and illustrator Audrey Reibin recently released their new book "The Mudhole: A Story About Being True to Yourself"

A young local illustrator got her career off the ground with her work in her first children’s book recently.

“The Mudhole: A Story About Being True to Yourself” was illustrated by now Catholic Central High School graduate Audrey Reibin and written by Stephanie Foreman.

The book follows hippo Hendriks and his animal friends in the Savannah.

“The book is supposed to teach children how to stay true to themselves,” said Reibin.

“Hendriks, he loves to be in the mud hole. At first, all of the other animals are like that’s weird, that’s gross and Hendriks is like well I’m going to do my own thing and so he stayed confident in what he enjoys. And then throughout the book, his friends realize, oh this is actually pretty cool and it is OK to like things that are a little different.”

Reibin loves digital art.

“This digital illustrations and stuff like that, they can be used wherever, and so it was a great opportunity for both her and myself,” said Reibin.

“So I can do my passion, which is digital art, and for her to be able to use these illustrations in her stories without losing any quality.”

Reibin worked with Foreman’s ideas for characters and characteristics.

“I tried my best to take her ideas of what the characters would be and their mannerisms, their characteristics and I gave them life,” said Reibin.

Reibin contributed lots of bright colours and shapes with it being a children’s book.

“So Hendriks, our main character, he’s very sweet, he’s very kind, very gentle.” said Reibin.

“So I wanted to make him more rounder, he has rounder shapes in him. So I hope that when people read the book, you kind of get that feeling from him that he very like sweet, he is very mellow, so no like hard edges.”

Reibin admits children’s books weren’t her focus and wanted to go into video game character designs before this opportunity came up.

“This was a great opportunity to use my skill and my talent and through this experience, this might be something that I want to pursue in the future,” said Reibin.

“I never thought it would be something, I never thought of illustrating children’s books, but this was a fantastic experience and Stephanie’s amazing. With this experience, I think I’m going to go further with it.”

Foreman said it was fantastic, when asked about working on the book with Reibin.

“She’s easygoing, she’s so creative, and she’s got a lot of good ideas and she’s really excited to actually expand her opportunity to be an illustrator,” said Foreman.

“This is her first published work and so for me, it’s very exciting to support her.”

It was important for Foreman to let Reibin expand her skills and provide inspiration to other artists who are considering a path to being a published illustrator.

“I think for her this was already in her mind, she could see herself being published,” said Foreman.

“When I connected with her, it just made a lot of sense for us to work together because she wanted to be collaborative like I wanted to be.”

Reibin will continue with Foreman through the book series.

A book launch was held last weekend at the Lethbridge Public Library’s Crossings Branch.

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