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Students and graduates create beautiful illustrations for inspirational book celebrating women in space

Written by
Jake May
Published date
14 December 2017

Students and graduates of London College of Communication partnered with Penguin Random House imprint Century to create beautiful illustrations for an inspirational children’s book celebrating women in space.

A Galaxy of Her Own, written by leading expert in human spaceflight Libby Jackson, is a collection of stories of inspirational women in history who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space. The book covers everything from female scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between – aiming to inspire trailblazers and pioneers of all ages.

The book features 50 stunning illustrations by 35 students and graduates of LCC’s BA (Hons) Illustration & Visual Media course commissioned by book publishers Century as part of a project with Business & Innovation at LCC.

Chiaki Mukai by Huong Anh for A Galaxy of Her Own

Huong Anh Trinh, who recently graduated from BA (Hons) Illustration & Visual Media, contributed 3 illustrations to the book – telling the stories of Mae Jemison, a NASA astronaut and the first African American woman to travel in space; Chiaki Mukai, a Japanese doctor and astronaut; and Poppy Northcutt, who solved difficult equations that helped calculate how to get a spacecraft back from the moon.

Anh said: “I am very grateful to have been involved in the professional book publishing process – I learned a lot from the author Libby Jackson and the people from Century and Penguin.

“One of the most challenging aspects to deal with this commission is to try to maintain scientific accuracy, while balancing my own creative elements,” Anh said.

“I was fortunate enough to be guided by these wonderful people in the right direction, resulting in 3 artworks that faithfully illustrated the stories of these women, portrayed scientific elements accurately yet still easy to understand for children, and at the same time still maintain my own familiar whimsical creative style.

Emilia Bocianowska

Ben Brusey, Deputy Publisher of Century, said: “We are enormously grateful to all of the talented artists at LCC who contributed to Libby Jackson’s wonderful book. When we first saw the superb designs, every drawing was so inspiring and unique. We knew this project was going to be very special.

“Celebrating the publication of the book now, I’m delighted to say that the final book has surpassed our greatest expectations. It’s a stunning object on such an important subject – and the artwork complements the material beautifully.

“This book shows that the sky is really not the limit for anyone – and that’s definitely the case for these amazing artists!”

Angela Michanitzi, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Illustration & Visual Media at LCC, said: This project has been a brilliant chance for our students to work collaboratively on a live brief, which is crucial experience for aspiring illustrators.

“Working on such a beautiful book and to be commissioned by Century is something the students have truly appreciated and learned a lot from, and the stunning end result speaks for itself.”

A Galaxy of Her Own. Cover illustration by Rosie Chomet.

Matt Guy, Partnerships Manager in LCC’s Business & Innovation team, said: “Live briefs and industry commissions like these are a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop their professional practice and build their portfolio – and that’s why we at LCC work so hard to develop strong relationships with industry partners.

“We’re very thankful to Century and Penguin Random House for the opportunity and look forward to future collaborations, and we’d also like to congratulate all of the talented students that put so much time and care into their beautiful illustrations.”

 A Galaxy of Her Own is out now read an extract or order a copy now.