What is a Tear?

Reem Madooh | Kuwait

In this story, I wanted to explore the idea of crying through the life of a girl as the reader follows her from childhood memories until the present. My aim was to convey the message that crying is a universal form for expressing all human emotions and therefore should not be associated solely with shame or weakness. I used compositional elements such as character placements and diagonal lines in contrasting ways to depict the girl’s emotions of happiness or distress. I did that in the use of colour as well, choosing blue to symbolise the tears and contrasting it with red to make her stand out.

Most of the sequences were derived from personal experiences and observations such as my time living in Cambridge waiting in a busy crossroad and observing different people waiting together before going their separate ways in opposite directions. I also used rain to symbolize the sky crying to tie in everything together in the end. I would not have been able to have this ending, or this entire story had I not observed my surroundings and reflected on my own experiences growing up.

Cambridge School of Art
MA Children's Book Illustration
Graduation: 2020