Illustrating Family Stories with StoryBoard That
My mom has been writing a series of short stories to share with our family about her dad. I decided to illustrate one of the scenes using StoryBoard That. Eventually I’d like to illustrate each of the scenes and short stories she is writing so I can read them to my kids at bedtime.
The scene I did was about picking cotton in Texas when my grandpa was a boy, in the 1930s.
The software is pretty simple to use. I was happy to find that there was a cotton field background ready to use. I added some characters, adjusted their poses to match the story, and added a few props. Now the scene is illustrated and ready to go! Here’s how the scenes turned out, with the text from my mom’s post entitled “The Adventures of Cowboy Bob: Pickin’ Cotton.”
Adventures of Cowboy Bob
The blazing hot sun beat down on the Texas cotton field, sending shimmering waves of heat up into the air. Bob lay flat on his belly in the shade of the full grown cotton bushes completely immersed in his novel, the latest western. The relentless sun had bleached his curly reddish blond hair and reddened his fair skin, making his freckles blend together.
The family had been working since sunup to bring in the cotton and he was hot and thirsty. He knew he’d never beat his industrious siblings C.H. and Helen, in filling his large gunnysack, so he figured he might as well take a quick break and see what was going to happen next in his story.
“Bobby Gene” he heard his father call, and reluctantly slipped his book into the pocket of his overalls. He picked up his gunnysack and reached over to pick a piece of the fluffy white stuff while visions of cowboys and Indians raced through his head.
That’s all for now! I wish I knew more about my grandpa’s days picking cotton. There’s so much more that I would like to add to this story. I know my kids will love it. They love stories and they are particularly interested in stories about their own relatives. “That’s about MY own great-grandpa?! Can I hear it again?”
What lesson will they learn from the adventures of cowboy Bob? I can only hope that when my kids are ducking out on their chores, they are reading a book, like him. They might also realize that their chores are not as difficult. They might feel more gratitude and increased interest in the past. This is what I hope.
StoryBoard That is a quick solution for anyone who wants to illustrate their family stories. Kids and teens will enjoy using the software themselves. My kids, ages 6, 3 and 6 months, are still a little young for it. I’ve also used StoryBoard That for creating coloring pages and for illustrating an ancestor book for my neighbors.
I wish I had a personal illustrator, but for now, this does an adequate job. How have you illustrated family stories for the kids in your life?