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Books as Portals: Kaya and the Shadow Spirits

Marlowe, L. Ashley (2015) Books as Portals: Kaya and the Shadow Spirits. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

“Buying a book is not about obtaining a possession, but about securing a portal.” – Laura Miller Books are more than just ink on paper or dark shapes on a screen to be read. They spark imagination, contain infinite information, and offer escape for those who let their minds run. With the rise of the e-book, many have worried over the “death of the paperback” and the bookshelf, but there may be something special about the physical volumes that take up palpable space in one’s home. Between the covers is the promise of adventure, knowledge, heartbreak, or hope, and though books have been transformed from status symbols to mere decoration, they can continue to evolve and change for the better. Perhaps books can come to be seen as portals for inspiration and imagination. With the rise of technology and prevalence of smart phones, the possibilities for interactivity and augmented reality become an interesting idea to mix with the traditional paperback book. How can this mix be made seamlessly? How will technology interact with the traditional media? And how can this be used to encourage literacy and a passion for reading in children? Through this project, I hope to discover ways in which traditional and new media can be blended to create an exciting and more immersive reading experience. I wrote my own story, exploring scenery and ideas that I found interesting. The plot follows Kaya, a young girl who lives in Hagenberg, a town where people are happy to do the same things every day. But when Kaya is tricked by a white fox into waking evil Shadows, chaos reigns. She must go on a journey to find the polar bear Spirits and restore order. She is helped by Rosetta, an alien, Laila, a storyteller, Synnøve, a fisherwoman, Ingrid and Astrid, eccentric sisters, and Soren, a scientist. They give her the knowledge, supplies, directions, and help she needs. It will take intelligence and bravery if Kaya wants to succeed, but she is the only one who can bring a new balance to Hagenberg and change it forever. This project allows me to explore several different roles of creation, including the jobs of research and development, writer, editor, art director, visual development artist, character artist, layout artist, 3D modeler, color stylist, lighting design, inker, and painter. Including augmented reality with the book must add something to the story that is not or cannot be present on the printed page. It can not be 3D additions for the mere sake of adding 3D, but should enhance the story experience in a way that cannot be done in the traditional 2D print-on-paper sense. The quote by Laura Miller at the top of this page inspired me to undertake this project. By finding ways to combine traditional printed formats with digital additions, books can embrace new technology to avoid extinction. In this way, books can truly become portals for imagination and exploration, drawing audiences in for a more complete and enchanting reading experience.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: L. Ashley Marlowe
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 11:00
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 11:00
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/202

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