Charlotte’s Web Bookmobile for Lompoc, California

Photo courtesy of Jim Palam

Photo courtesy of Jim Palam

I have another really fun project to share with you today — a bookmobile illustrated by yours truly! I love books and reading, so naturally I was super excited to work on an illustration that promotes access to books for kids.

This bookmobile is for the city of Lompoc, California, known as “the flower seed capital of the world.” The city’s much-beloved first female mayor, Charlotte Benton, had a dream of building a public library for Lompoc, and set up a trust upon her passing to fund the project. After a few years of development, the city decided the funds would be best used in the form of a bookmobile, in order to reach more children throughout the area. Designer Jim Palam was selected to design the graphics for the mobile library, and he in turn hired me for the illustration component.

Jim’s concept for the bookmobile was based on the classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web, as a tribute to Charlotte Benton. It was a fun assignment to re-interpret the story’s characters and add the element of reading, featuring a little girl and her two animal pals enjoying a good book outside. The backdrop of the illustration is a nod to Lompoc’s flower-growing industry, with fields of colorful blooms and gently sloping mountains in the distance.

(Fun fact — when I was in first grade (or thereabouts?) I illustrated the whole story of Charlotte’s Web on a big long scroll of paper for a school project, a scroll that my mom still has in a drawer somewhere today. I’m sure those drawings would look pretty hilarious now, but I think that project set the stage for my love of illustration, and in a way working on this bookmobile felt like coming full circle!) 

It was a real pleasure working with Jim on this assignment, and it’s a thrill seeing how the artwork looks on the actual bookmobile (thanks, Jim, for the photo)! I’ll leave you with a look at the illustration on the bookmobile schematic, and a detail:

Bookmobile schematic

Bookmobile detail

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