Allison Ranieri

Independent Artist

Inhabitants: Illustrated Portraits of Cincinnatians


I Really Like Making Books.

If you are reading this, you are probably familiar with my first book, self-published last December, called Habitat: An Illustrated Perspective of CincinnatiHabitat is a visual tour of Cincinnati. In creating that book, I focused on rediscovering a lot of local landmarks that were special or memorable to me. Along the way, at the different locations I camped out and drew, locals wandering by would stop and observe my work, and often ask me about what I was doing. I loved talking to the many people I met along the way – many would only linger for a few minutes, but several stopped and talked for much longer. It was these conversations that has given me the inspiration to make (drumroll) a second book!!

First Places, Now People

Instead of focusing so much on architecture this time, I wand to focus on meeting people that live around and nearby these places I visited in Habitat by interviewing and drawing portraits of many different Cincinnatians. I want to let each person tell their own story in their own words and accompanied by my creation of their likeness. As much as the locations and historic sites I visited in Habitat had stories to tell in their own quiet way, I want to match the voices and faces of those who inhabit this city to the places.

Telling a Story

I will be creating a portrait of every person I talk to. In addition, I want them to tell their own story of their life in Cincinnati and memories here through their own words. I will be recording these interviews, and then juxtaposing my illustrated portrait of the person with chosen quotes from our talk. An awesome feature I am hoping to work out is to have these actual audio interviews accompany the book, so one who is enjoying it once it is printed can listen to the interviews as they look at each portrait. I hope to be able to use the application called StoryCorps to record and share these interviews in an easily accessible way.

Similar, But Different

Some aspects of Inhabitants will be similar to Habitat: for one, I plan to crowd fund this book as well. The funding of Habitat was almost 41% complete in the first 12 hours of launching the project, so I am confident that together we can make another book happen! However, unlike Habitat, I will be doing all the work upfront. I want to have all my ducks in a row, so to speak – have approximately 40 portraits and accompanying interviews done before I launch any kind of campaign, so that backers can see exactly what the project is all about beforehand. This means that I will be creating a lot of work, and I hope to make the book approximately double the size of Habitat – so about 80 pages of text and images.

Call For Participants!

Somehow I think a lot of the people that will appear in the book I will randomly approach, but I also want to extend the opportunity to anyone else that is reading this that I would love to have you be a part! If you are interested in being a part of the book, feel free to fill out the form below! And if you know someone who might be interested, I would love it if you could send this page on to them. When you fill out the submission form, you are in no way making a commitment to participating! It is just for me to get in contact with you to give you more details on the project and answer any questions you may have about it.

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Click here if you would like to peruse a little agreement form I have worked up. If you are certain you want to be a part, feel free to print it and fill it out!