Nor Sanavongsay

Design Has Purpose

A Sticky Mess

Children’s book based on a five hundred year old Xieng Mieng Lao fable.



I first heard the story of Xieng Mieng when I was young. It had always been told in my family over the generations. The story that stuck with me the most was when he tricked the head of the monastery to lick chicken poop. This was my version of the story. I went through many iterations of the story and concepts for the book. In the 15 years that I spent working on the story, it was a comic strip, a short animation, and I eventually settled on it being a children's book.

I spent two years learning the craft of storytelling and writing for children. I also started illustrating again and continued to improve my art. So in 2013, I decided that it was time to get the book published. I ran a Kickstarter campaign to help with printing costs. I'm humbled by all the support I received. It was one of the most thrilling times of my life. 

After the success of the Kickstarter campaign, I had to learn the business of publishing and dealing with printers. Since this was my first book, I wanted to make sure the print was mint. I went through a few print companies until I found the one that could do what I wanted within budget. 

This was a great learning experience. I used the same method I know from software product design to making a physical product. I did some research on story structure for children, how to design appealing characters, types of printing, paper quality, and so on.

A Sticky Mess is currently out of print. Published by Sahtu Press.

Scenes From the Book

Read the entire book on my Pinterest page.

3D Animation

I made this clip in 2004 using Lightwave to model and render,
Photoshop for painting the scene and Apple Motion for compositing.

Nor Sanavongsay