Sara Jane Franklin is the illustrator of All Fixed Up, a children’s book app for iPad that’s on Kickstarter until August 10. The book app is for kids whose parents travel a lot, including military parents. On Kickstarter, you’ll find exclusive project-related awards the general public will not be able to get when the campaign is over — so don’t miss out!
MomStart: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
Sara Jane Franklin: When I was very little, I got a pair of OshKosh B’gosh "painter" overalls covered in multi-colored silkscreened splatters of paint from my grandpa. Because the overalls were "pre-splattered," I felt free to make a big mess, which gave me a rush of excitement. I have the best memories of painting
outside with an easel in those overalls. I was always painting butterflies.
MS: When you first read All Fixed Up, what attracted you to the story? How did you know it was right for you?
Sara: I love how the story is so positive! It’s really nice to see such a strong bond between the child and parent, even though they can’t always be together … and to see that they’ve bonded over all sorts of things, fixing things small and large. It shows the scale of importance the parent has to the child (and vice versa), and that their importance to each other is not limited by time or space.
MS: You’ve never done an interactive children’s book before. Why now?
Sara: I’ve always loved interactive design. I was a Flash designer and a web designer for over 10 years. I’m excited about bringing to life the story an interactive level … the customization and personalization. It’s exciting to see things move and have multiple scenarios for the same screen. It’s just something
you just can’t accomplish in print.
MS: Were you concerned about working with a startup?
Sara: I met Tracy Hopcus Jordan, who’s on the Red Piggy Press team, back in school at CalArts, and I trust Tracy. And the company really seems to have its act together. I’m not working for free, I’m not giving up my rights to the work… the contract is solid. It’s also exciting to be able to work with Tracy and the founder
Shelly Bowen — a fantastic team! Besides, who wouldn’t want to work with a company named Red Piggy Press?
MS: What part of the children’s book app project has been a challenge for you?
Sara: The most challenging part so far was the bicycle scene. It was tough to imagine how the animation would work of the child on his (or her) bicycle moving through the street. I also worked hard to determine the right perspective to use for the street so that the child could cycle through it on an iPad. That really pushed my imagination and stretched me in a good way.
MS: As an artist, have you learned anything new during the process so far?
Sara: Yes! I’m always learning something new from my projects. I’ve learned to be more open with my process instead of wanting to just show finished work. Shelly and Tracy made it easy to share ideas and ask for feedback and feel comfortable with them. They have such a strong vision and I wanted to share all
my loose sketches along the way to make sure I was headed in the right direction. I also learned some nerdy stuff, like how to prepare files for interactivity with the iPad.
MS: What do you hope the book app will achieve for kids?
Sara: I hope All Fixed Up can help bridge the gap between family members when they are apart. I hope it reminds kids how important family is, and that those bonds are something to always treasure. I have family in the U.K., and staying close through letters, drawings, and calls has always been very important to me.
I really hope the book app shows kids know how much they are loved. I hope it makes them feel inspired to be creative and possibly pick up a paintbrush! I hope they have FUN with this app and imagine themselves lost in a whimsical world of watercolor, flying away in their own hot air balloon. Oh, but befriending an actual squirrel is not be recommended!