Curious Creatures is a project by Lize-Marie Dreyer as part of her final Honours in Illustration exhibition at Stellenbosch University. The book is currently unpublished but she hopes to have it published some time in the future.
The story is about a group of strange animal friends who don’t judge each other and instead love each other for all their flaws – encouraging each other to be whatever and whoever they want to be. For this project, Lize-Marie worked with a friend of hers who is very talented with words, Kurt Schröder, to write the story for her. The four characters of the story are based on the the actual Leopard Tortoise, Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew and Rhino Beetle. “The characters are morphed between the two parts of their personalities, the Buffalo Weaver, for example, looks like a weaver bird but has a buffalo mane and two horns sprouting out its head,” Lize-Marie explains.
Although the book is meant for children, it doesn’t necessarily follow the route of the kind of children’s story book we are all you used to. Instead it has a rather mature twist to it that both young and old can learn from. “I’m sure that parents see plenty of ‘cute’ children’s books and I wanted this to stand out from the rest. The illustrations are quite serious, with no smiling or googley-eyed characters,” Lize-Marie explains.
Lize-Marie creates her detailed work in Photoshop with her trusty Wacom tablet. The line work, patterns and textures in her illustrations are enough to keep little ones and their parents entertained for ages.