Services: Illustration, Character Design, Print Design

Hand illustrated children's book cover for Brilliant! an allegory of hope, a book about two parent birds and their adopted egg.

An Allegory of Hope

About the Story: Brilliant! is a whimsical adventure that unexpectedly inspires parents, especially for adoptive & foster families. Brilliant! follows a speckled egg through twists and turns as it is rescued by a kind farmer and delivered to a strong nest in a strong tree in a strong forest. A speckled bird hatches from the egg and, over time, grows into a red bird more brilliant than the birds that foster it. The story ends on a high note of hope as together with another brilliant red bird they find a strong tree in a strong forest, build a strong nest and wait for their own speckled egg.

About the Artwork: Each spread of the book was drawn by hand, scanned in, and then brought to life through digital painting to create artwork that is something old and something new at the same time – a blend of style and media that produces something unique; fresh and vibrant, yet artful and handcrafted.

Story by Matt Burgess

Art by Russell Shaw


The Book

Selected images from the special limited first edition of the finished book.

Cover graphic design and artwork for the children's book about adoption, story by Matt Burgess and art by Russell Shaw.
The back cover of Brilliant! a children's book about adoption, reads A whimsical adventure that unexpectedly inspires parents, especially for adoptive and foster families.
The first hardcover editions of the children's book featured signatures on the title page by the author and the artist.
Children's book about adoption shows full color hand drawn illustrations of a dark forest and a farmer in a barn with a silo.
Children's book illustration of dead trees and a dark forest.
Full color hand drawn illustrated children's book artwork of a speckled egg in a weak and poorly made nest.
Artwork for children's book shows a speckled brave bird scaring away a stinky skunk who was holding a speckled egg.
Detail of the stinky skunk dropping the speckled egg in Brilliant, the children's book about adoption.
The hand of the farmer picks up the speckled egg in the hand drawn illustrated full color artwork of Brilliant! a children's book about adoption.
The farmer's hand places the speckled egg in a strong and full nest in a strong tree in a lush and beautiful forest in the children's book artwork.
Illustrated full color spread of a dark storm cloud blowing wind and rain against the weak trees.
Children's book illustration for Brilliant! shows the two red birds loving the speckled baby bird as much as they could.
The baby bird transforms into a brilliant red bird in the Brilliant! children's book about adoption.
The brilliant red bird flies away in this full color hand drawn pen and ink colorful children's book artwork spread.
Two brilliant red birds meeting in the sky in an illustrated kid's book about adoption called Brilliant!
At the end of the children's book, the two brilliant red birds wait for a speckled egg of their own.

Memory Matching Card Game

Some individuals who supported the book by pre-ordering a copy through its Kickstarter campaign received a special matching card game. The cards came in a custom origami wallet with some of the original character sketches across the surface. Each set provides 2 of the 12 distinct cards featuring handcrafted characters from the Brilliant! book allowing parents to play with their kids, who will love getting to know the charming characters as they develop memory skills.

Memory matching card game for children's book Brilliant! has all of the characters on each card for kids to match together.
brilliant kids book memory matching cards holder
brilliant matching card game
All of the characters from the childrens book Brilliant! a story about adoption, featuring the stinky skunk, red bird, green bird and blue bird artwork and character design illustrations in a pen and ink hand drawn style with colorful paint texture.