My Master of Fine Arts project, which carried me through the length of the 18-month program, was to complete a full-color illustrated children’s novel of my own authorship. The novel, Beyond the Grass Ocean: A Tale for Every Worldly Child, was an exploration of a child’s quest to comprehend the themes of mortality, maturity and the inexplicable nature of much of the universe even to adults.

I completed writing the novel in a matter of five days shortly after beginning the program at CCAD in August, 2014. But while the initial drafting of the text of the story came quickly, the major bulk of the effort—the successful illustration, layout and finally print publication of the work for mass distribution—took the remainder of my time in the program. It went beyond simply drawing, revising, collecting feedback and then applying finished pieces to the work. In the year and a half of its completion, the book ended up becoming a significant personal exploration through pain, loss, love, triumph, exhilaration…and ultimately the discovery of my own delusions about adulthood and my place in it.

[Download a print-friendly PDF copy of the completed thesis paper, “Beyond the Grass Ocean: Children’s Illustrated Literature & the Exploration of Mortality”]

The work was completed and made available for retail purchase via Amazon and all related outlets as of March 30th, 2016. Enjoy looking through a sample of some of the images and page layouts from the completed work.