Eagles in the Spotlight

Joy P. '10

Joy P. started attending the International School of Zug (ISOZ) in Grade 1 and graduated from the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) in 2010. After that she attended De Montfort University and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design & Illustration. While at ISZL Joy participated in football (and later captained and coached her university women’s football team), and sang in the choir. Because she appreciated the international community and diverse cultures she encountered at ISZL, her interest in understanding different countries has led Joy to create a children’s game exploring different cultures: Friends Around the World – Explore Europe.

Artist and Author
Joy is an alumna with a story to tell – literally! She has recently written, illustrated and published a children’s book: Is It Nearly Time?

The book has three characters that go on an adventure. The text tells the story, but the details can be found in the illustrations. “I wanted the images to tell the story more than the words in order to encourage children to watch, observe and draw from clues they see. There is so much more that can be discovered in a story through the illustrations. When you read it again and again, you continuously get more out of it,” Joy tells us.

As she prepared the narrative and illustrations, Joy shared her drafts with ISZL’s EY1 class (which her mother teaches) and became inspired by the way the students reacted to her story. She was then able to make changes based on the feedback she got from the students. In the end, Is It Nearly Time? became a book suitable for all age groups because of it’s visual story telling style.

Now that her first book is available for purchase, she’s interested in working on a second book and has some plans in mind. “I’ve learned a lot after doing the first book and already have more insight and vision for the second one,” Joy says. “It will be similar, perhaps with the same characters, but certainly a new adventure! The first book was inspired by Switzerland’s nature, landscape and hiking, so I might continue along that theme.”

Besides her book projects, Joy has her own freelance business based in Switzerland. She does a variety of work for a variety of clients. “Recently I’ve worked on illustrations for a visual dictionary teaching English to Chinese students. For a US company I designed T-shirts for organic baby clothing and I’ve just launched my own range of handmade make-up pouches and tote bags – some of which you can bid for at the 2015 ISZL Gala. While I’m open to a variety of projects, I’d really like to try my hand at designing stationary or wedding announcements. I’m always interested in trying something new.”

Joy’s Return to ISZL
Joy presented about art and storytelling during the Zug and Luzern Campuses' Book Fortnight. She read her book to the children and then walked the students through the book writing process: research, brainstorming story lines, character development, thumb nailing the storyboard, media experimentation (which tools and materials to use), drafting, critique/feedback, final draft and then publishing. The children were very interested to learn how her hand drawn and painted characters go from paper to computer and eventually into a landscape for her book.

After the presentation and questions, Joy helped the students create their own story as part of a collaborative Primary School project. Early Years and Kindergarten created three different background scenes on three different canvases: forest, sea and desert. Grades 1 & 2 then added detail to the backgrounds: leaves, fish, cactus. Grades 3-5 created characters that were doing things in the different scenes.


Joy tells us that she “really enjoyed doing Book Fortnight. It was interesting to see how different grades reacted to the story and what they noticed in the illustrations that others might not have. My experience at Book Fortnight and working with the students has helped me see where I could improve the book, but has also helped validate my thoughts about the quality of the book and how children perceive and understand the relationship between text and image.”

We want to hear from you

Share your story, accomplishments or news by completing the Alumnus/a Interview form or by emailing alumni(at)iszl.ch.

More Spotlights