Stop and Listen

Jane Toole
Illustration (School of Graduate Studies)

About this Item

Stop and Listen
Contributor Names
Toole, Jane (Creator, Illustrator)
Miller, Anelle
Dittrich, Dennis (Art teacher)
Summary/Artist's Statement
Stop and Listen is an anthology of short stories executed in comic form based on interviews with friends, family, and acquaintances who have lived in New York City. In these interviews I asked a broad question: “What is your most quintessential “New York” story?” Though the stories I heard had a range of tones, they all touched on universal experiences that make New York unique, from battles with mice and run-ins with roommates and neighbors to more life-altering moments like fateful encounters with idols or future partners.
Though this story by itself is not momentous, pieced together with other “New York” stories, one begins to see a portrait of a city that plays an important role in millions of young adults’ most formative years. By telling these stories I hope to capture what makes New York sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible, but always special to its inhabitants.
I painted the comics in watercolor and edited them in Photoshop, which allows my work to combine the spontaneity of watercolor with the precision of digital tools to capture small details.
My affinity for mapmaking led me to organize the book by location. Each of the four sections is based on a subway line, and each chapter within that section is named after the closest stop on that line to where the story took place. Every section begins with an illustrated subway map outlining the stops. I used this approach to emphasize the role location and the city as a whole plays in these stories.
With my background in surface design I did not have extensive experience in visual storytelling before beginning this project. I am grateful to have the opportunity to use this thesis to learn methods of transforming others’ stories into art to be enjoyed and interpreted by an audience. My hope is that viewers will see their own experiences reflected in this body of work.
Still Image
Comics (documents)
Watercolor and Adobe Photoshop
Medium (Terms)
Watercolor (paint)
Adobe Photoshop
Course/Degree Information
Program/Degree: Illustration MFA
Academic semester: Spring 2023
Professors: Anelle Miller, Dennis Dittrich
Related Materials
In Copyright
The copyright for this work is held by its author/creator(s). Usage of this material beyond what is permitted by copyright law must first be cleared with the rights-holder(s). This work has been made available online by the Fashion Institute of Technology Gladys Marcus Library strictly for research and educational purposes. If you are the copyright holder for this work and have any objections to this work being made available online, please notify us immediately at [email protected].
FIT Repository ID: mi_000004


Toole, J. (2023). Stop and Listen. FIT Institutional Repository.
Toole, Jane. Stop and Listen. 2023. FIT Digital Repository,
Toole, Jane. "Stop and Listen." FIT Digital Repository, 2023.