Lois Gordon

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I’m a Product Designer with a love for illustration which I often include in my design work. I completed my placement year at Thrive App, based in Belfast and I now work there as a Product Designer.

My major project is a children’s interactive book series called ‘Explory’ featuring the unique story, Toto and the Magic Tree. Explory aims to teach children about the importance of the protection of animals & our environment.

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Explory Books

Featuring bright illustrations and fun interactive characters, Toto and the Magic Tree has been crafted to excite and inspire. The eBook features sounds and animations to enhance the reading experience, making it more than just a read!

Toto and the Magic Tree is the first book in the Explory series, it's about a tiger cub who goes on an adventure beyond the jungle and meets different animal pals along the way. His goal is to visit the infamous Magic Tree, that towers high above the rest of the trees and twinkles in the night sky. But, the Magic Tree does not turn out to be all that Toto had hoped.

The Process

Toto and the Magic Tree has been a long, creative process. It started with reading lots of children's books to fill my imagination, my book shelves are now fit for any 4 year old! I came up with the story over a series of workshops I did by myself, putting sticky notes all over the walls with different character ideas and an overall story flow. You can checkout a detailed documentation of my process on the Explory Medium

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The illustrations where inspired by many artists, including Henri Rousseau and Oliver Jeffers. I love their work; Rousseau's detailed jungle scenes which frame the canvas and Jeffers abstract mixed media style. I started on paper, then made things digital using Procreate on my iPad and some bits crafted in Adobe Illustrator. The two Procreate brushes I couldn't put down were the studio pen and the flat brush with a 60% opacity - such a combo!

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The Outcome

I created a Flinto prototype to showcase how the eBook would look & feel, you can view a preview of it on Vimeo or download the Flinto file and check it out in the viewer app to get a hands-on experience. I hope to publish the paper version of the book towards the end of this year (pandemic permitting...) and make it available to purchase online at ExploryBooks.com.

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