This book is a work in progress that is being written and illustrated by me. My goal is to depict how gentrification positively and negatively affects the East Austin community. In order to reach an audience of mostly children, I chose to illustrate the story from the point of view of a Paletero or an ice-cream man. The Paletero is a fictional character but was inspired by a Paletero who sold paletas in my hometown neighborhood since I was 10 years old. He watched me grow up and has seen my neighborhood change in many ways. I wanted to use a Paletero as my main character to show the changes that have been happening in the Cesar Chavez neighborhood through his interactions with the people he meets as well as those he sees almost everyday. With this book, I hope to show positive and negative effects that gentrification has on a community.
Part of the research for this book was done by going out to the neighborhood and taking pictures, talking with residents, and visiting businesses. Those interactions inspired a series of gifs that I created to document my experience and gather ideas for my book. Here are some of the images I animated that resonated with me the most.
The images I made served as inspiration for the characters and illustrations that are going to be highlighted in the book. Below are some of the ones I have started.