By Mark Ambrogi
For Jennifer Zivoin, her most recent illustration work was a true labor of love.
The Carmel resident is pleased with the freedom she had it doing her illustration work on “All My Stripes,” a story for children with autism. The book is written by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer. Zivoin will have a book signing at the Barnes & Noble, 14790 Greyhound Pass, at 2 p.m onApril 19.
The book is about Zane the Zebra, who has autism and is upset because he has trouble fitting in.
“He feels frustrated but his differences from the other children,” Zivoin said. “He feels all people ever see is autistic stripe in the middle of his forehead (red because it’s the color of autism awareness). His mother helps him recognize that autism is just one of his qualities. He has lot of stripes who make him who he is, that makes him special, valuable and successful. It’s a great story for helping kids with the subject of autism but it’s relatable because it ultimately about someone who feels like an outsider and his journey of self-acceptance.”
Zivoin said the art directors from Magination Press were great to work with on the book.
“I appreciate they let me loose with it,” she said. “I gave each zebra their own design in their stripes which has something to do with personality or interest. So with Zane, all of his stripes are geometric and grouped in prime numbers so if there was a child who is gifted in mathematics the way the character is they might pick up on that. There are little things that enhance the story. The other zebra who is interested in soccer, his stripes are more like a hexagon. The one who has a more bouncy, artistic personality, her stripes are more like spirals. The one who is bully his stripes are pointed. We were able to build upon the text through the visuals.”
Zivoin, a 1999 Carmel High School graduate, has been illustrating professionally since 2005 and working full-time at it since 2008. Zivoin and her husband Romeo have two daughters 4-year-old Olivia and 5-month-old Elyse. Zivoin graduated from Indiana University.
“My 4-year-old is my harshest critic, she lets me know when she doesn’t think I did a good job drawing,” Zivoin said. “She likes have an artist mommy to draw her pictures.”
Zivoin has also illustrated for educational materials and early reader books for for elementary school students.She does a lot of work for Highlights magazine for children..
“With Highlights I do a lot of their hidden pictures so it’s kind of like one of my guilty pleasure. It’s a puzzle,” Zivoin said.
For more information on Zivoin’s work, visit jzartworks.com.