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How the Camel got his Hump.

Final Major Project, 2017

I based this project around one of Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So Stories'.

This self directed brief took me in the direction of story telling and how to make it more interactive for children. I began looking at traditional folklore stories behind how certain animals got certain traits. Furthering my research, I then began reading into the series of short stories by Kipling.


I chose to re-illustrate the story of 'How the Camel got his Hump'. The story has an array of different characters and has a strong moral to the story that children can learn from. 

"The story tells of how a stubborn Camel (who only says "Humph!") refuses to help the other animals work, the animals complain to man who then tells the animals they must work harder to make up for it. 

The animals (a Horse, a Dog and an Ox) have a meeting where a desert Djinn soon joins them. The animals complain to the Djinn about the Camel not helping them with their work. 

The Djinn confronts the Camel about his actions where he only gets the usual 'HUMPH!" reply.

So the desert Djinn casts a spell on the Camel who gives him his own 'Humph' so he can catch up on the work that he missed. 

The Djinn explains that now the Camel has his own 'Humph' he can work and catch up on the days he missed without eating because he can now live off of his 'Humph'. We call it a 'hump' now to not hurt his feelings."  

(Above) Horse, Ox, Dog and Camel. All of the animal characters in the story.

Each character was painted using watercolour paint and inks and then scanned into Photoshop. All features and pattern detail was added digitally.

The patterns used in the characters are based on patterns used in African art and textiles. ​​​​​​​

Each animal character was created into a puppet with a moveable neck (to make the character appear to talk) and each human character puppet was made with a movable arm (to initiate talking). Each puppet had features cut out, making these puppets recognisable and usable within the story telling process during the night as shadow puppets and during the day as illustrated puppets. 


To make the story more interactive, I created a large, A3 sized landscape concertina book with each page as a scene from the story. Each scene had features such as plants and sand in the foreground, but then had a removed background so the puppets could actually be used within the scenes to act out the story.

The idea was involves the story be read by an adult in a small copy of the story whilst the child acts the story out with the puppets and the scenes.

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