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A pair of hand-painted alphabets, compiled into an illustrated book to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Semester Completed

Spring 2020


De Pere


Art, Design, Illustration, Alphabet, Environmental, Sustainability, Senior, Portfolio


Art and Design | Book and Paper | Illustration

Artist Statement

My senior portfolio is a series of environmental illustrated alphabets. I am intrigued by the elementary forms of alphabet books as a tool for fundamental learning. I have created two alphabets, one illustrating A-Z effects of climate change and the other illustrating A-Z simple ways to practically combat climate change. The second series was made into an alphabet book, which serves as an optimistic introduction to living a more environmentally conscious life. I think learning to live sustainably could (and should) be taught much like how we learn our ABC’s in the way that it is best taught at a young age, central to our understanding of the world, and crucial to living well.

My sets of illuminated letters were made in a drawing style that is influenced by editorial illustrations, specifically the work of Joana Avillez. Simple black linework acts as structure to loose areas of color that aren’t all that concerned with being inside the lines. The result is an illustration that is casual yet calculated. The technique nods at the aesthetic of printmaking, the charm of slightly misregistered layers of color, and the unmistakable feeling of being made by hand.

In the current political climate, activism is becoming more relevant and necessary than ever before. Ongoing issues that expose racial injustice, gender inequality and the effects of climate change- the rising of our seas, the loss of species diversity and threats to our air quality have manifested themselves into local and global debates- prompting critical societal action around the world. It is without question an important effort for free speech and public engagement, but the world of activism doesn’t always feel as inclusive as its organizers need it to be. I have experienced activism to sometimes be exclusionary to people (like myself) who identify as introverted. Being part of a crowd, speaking up and speaking out are things that have always been difficult for me, which is why I have found myself at home in the community of “craftivists”. In the spirit of craftivism, I use my art to raise consciousness about the state of the environment and the simple actions we can all make to change it. My alphabets are invitations to learn more about how our world is changing, how we contribute, and why it is important to act while we can.


Maddie LeBrun

Maddie LeBrun- Senior Art Portfolio