The Big Mouth Frog
instructor: Matt Curtius
Institution: Tyler School of Art & Architecture
The Big Mouth Frog is an orally told folktale created in the 70's. The humorous story follows an obnoxious frog who gets himself into trouble by asking animals at the zoo what they eat. The punchline occurs when he asks a crocodile what he eats, to which he answers: "I eat big mouth frogs". Scared the crocodile will want to eat him, the frog makes his mouth really, really tiny. And with a squeak, he responds, "I've never heard of a creature called a big mouth frog". My grandpa used to tell me the joke when I was little and I loved it. He made the faces and voices of the frog and was so expressive in his storytelling. My intention with this book was to capture the joy I felt hearing the joke as a kid and bring these fictional characters to life.
The color palette I chose was centered around moody earth tones to highlight the setting and the story of the book. My illustration style was a bit sketchy and gestural, showcasing texture and color.
The frog illustration was the most important to the book. I needed to show the progression as he becomes more obnoxious and loud throughout the story. This is especially important to contrast the part where he makes his mouth really, really tiny. I played a lot with scale and type to emphasize this evolution.