The Invention Day

The Invention Day is a children’s book about Little Fox’s using her limitless imagination to build the most incredible invention. On her journey to discover what she wants to create for herself, she discovers she can use her creativity to help others.





I’m a proud godmother and wanted to somehow convey the message of “keep creating” to this incredible girl that has infinite imagination and the world at her fingertips. Somehow it also became a mixture about the design process and helping others while doing that.
I gave myself a tight deadline to create the story and illustrate the whole book, so I decided to have minimalist backgrounds, focus on characters, which I love, and work with digital media, since it is more practical.




Specifically when developing the illustrations, I used Photoshop from beginning to end. During the sketch stages, it gave me a lot of freedom to try different proportions and poses without wasting time. After all the pages were sketched, I spent some time adjusting until there was cohesiveness within all the characters and there was a good flow to the book.
After I had that, I just painted all the illustrations with the help of a lot of references and caffeine.



I’ve been thinking and trying to develop this story for almost a year. The illustration part took a few months and was a lot of fun, but writing was tough. If there is something that I’ve learned is that creating a picture book takes a long time, a lot of care, many revisions and the help of others to give feedback. The consequence is that it is mostly a very lonely process, filled with doubts and many changes.
The response, thankfully, has been pretty awesome. I’m super proud of the end result, my goddaughter liked it and people seem to feel happy when they see these happy animals with their weird inventions.

Creating a personal project is a dream but also incredibly hard since there are no “real responsibilities” or crucial deadlines. Nonetheless, these are the projects that really matter, this is where you can be truly yourself. When it is done, there is a sense of accomplishment like no other, and you learn a little more about yourself. Keep creating and find the thing you would love more than life to say/do. And say it. 🙂


Mariana Ikuta

marianayi