copyright 2019 Alyssa Minko
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story character

written by Rachael Bindas
illustrated by Alyssa Minko
aug. 2017 - present
release: Spring 2018
Photoshop | Illustrator | After Effects 
featured in Spine Magazine,
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Before The Sun Wakes Up is a personal project in which I coordinated with childhood friend, Rachael Bindas, on a children's book publication. Together we developed the story, visual development, and online marketing and social media of the book. 

My role as the illustrator helps to give meaning to the book, which could not exist either without the text nor the illustrations. Together, the two form a harmonious story about love and acceptance of children.


The mission of the book is to promote acceptance and equality in the minds of young children, and to assure all children that they have a place in this world.

In September 2017, a successful Kickstart campaign helped give us the funds needed to get off the ground – and more. the $1,500 raised will help us self-publish and distribute the book, as well as donate copies to local children's hospitals, daycares, and libraries in the Rochester, NY and Pittsburgh, PA areas. The image to the left is one of the Kickstarter campaign incentives for our sponsors.

The book is on schedule to release in Spring 2018.

limited edition book art sticker

final commercial
pig asset

book cover

Before The Sun Wakes Up uses an untraditional approach to the illustrations. The process, while seemingly excessive, is crucial to deriving the soft and tangible world that aims to draw young children in and make them feel comfortable, loved.

The process is depicted to the left. I photograph actual scrapbook paper to derive textures and patterns, which I specifically select for each part of the illustration. My 3D knowledge helps provide a realistic nature to the illustrations, bringing the paper-cut illustrations to life. 

interior page sketch + final spread

To read more about the art, story, and mission behind Before The Sun Wakes Up, please visit