Building on the design and animation skills she has developed in the Arts and Technology program, UT Dallas student Alyssa Lee recently published Candy on a Plane, her first graphic novel for children.
The book and a collection of art and animations – spawned from wondering, “What if clouds were made of cotton candy?” – has been a labor of love. Lee said, “I’ve worked on Candy on a Plane between classes since 2009, and several people have been following its development.”
The project grew into much more than a comic over time, as now it includes 2D and 3D animations, T-shirts, buttons, mugs, cards and a cookie recipe. She also founded the company COAP Inc. to oversee the works.
Candy on a Plane follows the adventures of a yogurt-covered raisin named Raigurt, who boards a plane to the Rocky Road Mountains. The plane is full of optimistic candies and sweets ready for a mountain vacation, but unexpected challenges – such as when the plane gets caught in the clouds – disrupt their flight.
“Candy on a Plane helped channel my skill growth as an artist and animator,” Lee said. She took the project from idea to completion, from the story, characters, illustrations, color and layout, to formatting, marketing and promotion.
Lee has also been accepted to the Animation Mentor online education program, which she’ll begin after finishing her ATEC bachelor’s degree at UT Dallas.