At 27, Cristina Vanko began to feel herself metamorphosing into adulthood — at least in some ways.
Now that she’s 28 and finally deciding that yes, she is after all an adult, Vanko decided to record her transformation and create prompts for others who are following in her footsteps.
Designed like a journal, her book has lots of space to answer such questions and tackle topics: “What’s the first song that made you feel out of touch with kids today?” “What’s the first plant you kept alive?” “Describe the first time you felt lost. How did you find yourself again?”
“Overall, I want people (to focus on) good memories,” Vanko says about the book. “If they do write something sad, hopefully they’ll be able to look back at it later and laugh.”
“Until I got to college, I didn’t realize calligraphy really existed,” says Vanko, who graduated from Munster High School, studied graphic design and Spanish at Indiana University and now works as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and author in Chicago. “IU has a program that focuses on typography and has the largest letter press shop in the U.S. I loved working in there.”
When asked what her favorite prompt is in “Adult-ish,” Vanko mentions the pizza page. There are no page numbers in the book so finding what she’s talking about means flipping through the book until I located the prompt, written in cursive over an empty picture frame, reading, “Whether you’re engaged to a human or a slice of pizza, draw a silly engagement photo.”
I ask what that means.
“I was somewhat bummed that so many of my friends were getting married and posting photos of their engagement — it’s annoying,” she says.
So if you were going to get engaged to a slice of pizza, what kind would it be?
“Probably pepperoni with extra sauce,” Vanko says.
“Adult-ish: Record Your Highs and Lows on the Road to the Real World” is available at Barnes & Noble and also through online book dealers.