Final project

For my final project I used the six pages to create a short story book of a cat and a cardinal. Take a look!

In the end, I have very mixed feelings about how this turned out. I drew a bunch of the moments and features several times and I wasn’t loving anything. I decided to just go for it, and I wish I had done that sooner, as I don’t know that the trials I did helped me all that much.There are some parts that I really like (like the cat’s paws in the first one or the cat and bird sitting together in the end) but a lot of it feels very basic to me and lacking in detail. 

Project description: The subjects of the piece are a cat, a cardinal, and the Minnehaha falls. For reference, I looked at my own cat, Ashen, in her early years. Since I wanted it to be set during the spring, I decided that a fluffy cat was best, and Ashen is the fluffiest cat I’ve ever known. For the cardinal, I looked photos up online, and then practiced drawing cardinals in different positions.

The Minnehaha falls in Minneapolis froze over a few years ago, and I used photos that my mother and I took when we went to see it as reference for that layout. I did end up not trying to capture everything literally, although I think I followed the general flow of the falls and river.

I chose this subject to paint because I was inspired by Edward Grieg’s Til våren. I really like the narrative flow that came to mind when I listened to this song: I saw icicles melting in the gentle rhythm of the piano, and the melody seemed like animals becoming active at the change of season. It ends softly and feels like someone falling asleep — hence the cat and cardinal sleeping under the pine tree.

Visually, I was thinking of the adaptation of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite created for Fantasia 2000. I love all of Fantasia 2000 but Firebird Suite is absolutely one of my favorites (second only to Rhapsody in Blue because Gershwin can write a killer clarinet solo) and makes me cry every time I see it. The animators chose to have Firebird Suite follow a fairy or spirit of spring as she wakes plants up, is chased away by a volcano, and comes back with a vengeance. I wanted to create something that similarly followed the coming of spring with a visual and a song.


I had fun making this, even if it’s not everything I had envisioned! I’m planning on giving it to my brother, who is four, and asking him to help me write the words.

I can’t believe senior year is over!

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