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Please Don’t Die: A Guide to Plant Parenthood is a humorous how-to book that combines relatability with education. Since I’ve entered college, I have noticed a common interest among my peers, faculty, and community and that is the love of plants. Whether this is just a current trend or just a world I never knew existed before my 20s, I knew I could use this hobby as the subject of my thesis. I had my own knowledge about the subject, I was interested in doing more research about it, and I knew multitudes of others who were interested in learning more, too. However, I knew I couldn’t write a truly cut-and-dried educational guide to taking care of houseplants because I have trouble taking myself seriously. I love incorporating some sort of humor into most of what I do, whether it provokes just a smile or actual laughter. This, along with the fact that I’d describe my own style as silly, led me to writing a book with a narrator who is wholly sarcastic and dry in the way they give their information. With this tone in place, I felt free to exaggerate color and form within my book. I find I work better with vibrant and oversaturated colors, as opposed to naturalistic ones. Pattern work and repeats are techniques I’m constantly trying to get better at, so I tried to incorporate a pattern on every page. Overall, I think my thesis is overwhelming but in exactly the way I want it to be. There are many how-to plant books on the market, but none like mine.

Angela “Gela” Palma is an illustrator from somewhere in Pennsylvania. Sometimes she’s from Pittsburgh and sometimes she’s from Philadelphia, but she is never from Harrisburg. Her work uses bright, unusual color palettes to catch the eye of the viewer and sarcastic humor to make them laugh. Palma also loves the world of children’s illustration because of the versatility of the genre, and because she loves to read and write silly stories. She hopes that if anyone gets anything from her art, it is—at the very least—a smile. Palma got her BFA in Illustration from Moore College of Art & Design in 2020.

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