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Steven Universe: Art & Origins

General Info

Steven Universe: Art & Origins logo
AuthorChris McDonnell
Book NameSteven Universe: Art & Origins
PublisherAbrams Books
Release Date2017-07-11
Number of Pages240
Original TitleSteven Universe: Art & Origins
Country of OriginUnited States
Publisher Website URLhttps://www.abramsbooks.com/
Steven Universe: Art & Origins is a treasure trove of never-before-seen concept art, sketches and storyboards that illuminate the creative process behind the groundbreaking animated series. Take a behind-the-scenes journey through the show's evolution, from creator Rebecca Sugar's early doodles to the stunning artistry that defines the show's colorful and vibrant style. This vibrant book explains how each character is carefully crafted and the imaginative environments they inhabit. Gain a deep appreciation for the work and love that went into every detail of The Crystal Gems and their universe. Perfect for seasoned fans and newcomers, this book is the essential guide to the beautiful and intriguing Steven Universe.


Steven Universe: Art & Origins is a compelling compendium that provides comprehensive insight into the creative process behind the critically acclaimed animated series Steven Universe. The book takes you on an unprecedented journey, immersing yourself in the essence of the creation of the show, from its initial stages to its evolution over several seasons.
An irresistible treat for fans, this title captures the essence of the show, capturing Rebecca Sugar's early sketches and storylines, biblical passages from the show, and exclusive interviews with the creators. The show's distinct palate shines brightly within its pages, showcasing the cascading creativity that results in the show's imaginative setting, organic character development, and connected storylines.
The book highlights the unique nature of the show and reveals how unconventional nuances are infused into the show, from showcasing complex emotional experiences, to gender fluidity, to promoting body positivity. It highlights how these elements ground the show in reality, despite the extravagant space, resonating with a global audience.
Steven Universe: Art & Origins paints an eloquent behind-the-scenes portrait of the action, echoing the show's heartwarming ethos of love, empathy, acceptance and growth. It's a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and deep intent that goes into creating a universe as immersive and engaging as Steven Universe. A rewarding journey through the book's content is like stepping into the minds of the creators, providing an inspiring lens through which to see the show and the world beyond.


Steven Universe: The Art and Origins is an immersive and in-depth exploration of the creativity, innovation and artistry at the heart of Cartoon Network's hit show Steven Universe.
The story follows Steven, a cheerful boy, half-human and half-gem, who learns to find his way in the world using crystal gems: Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Brought to life by series creator Rebecca Sugar and a talented team of artists, animators, and producers, Steven Universe embodies diversity, self-love, and acceptance.
The plot moves seamlessly between adventurous gem battles, personal growth and heart-wrenching emotional moments. Steven's quest to understand his powers and his mother's heritage intertwines with the complex past of the Crystal Gems, creating an intimate web of narrative threads that captivates the audience. Her journey reflects the ups and downs of every person's life across gender, race and age.
The book delves into the origins of this complex universe, peppered with never-before-seen character designs, sketches, storylines, and exclusive commentary. Reveals how diverse and engaging themes have shaped the unique story of Steven Universe. Polaroid notes, background images, and glimpses into Sugar's creative process add a wealth of insider knowledge to this book.
Steven Universe: Art & Origins not only provides a deep dive into the animation process, but the story complements the TV series by exploring themes and characters in a new way. Each layer peeled away reveals surprising elements of the making of the show, making it a must-read for fans and aspiring performers alike.


In the Development section of Steven Universe: Art & Origins, we take a deep dive into the creative process that gave birth to this gem of a show. Conceptually, Steven Universe was conceived as a show that struck a delicate balance between whimsical humor and deep, emotionally nuanced storytelling. The main inspiration for this groundbreaking show was creator Rebecca Sugar's experiences and relationships, mixed with fantasy-based themes and settings.
The genius of Steven Universe characters comes from a well-thought-out design process. Each character began as a simple sketch, often redrawn repeatedly to develop essence and personality into visually striking designs. Special attention was paid to the color schemes that represent each character's gems and set the tone for their behavior and powers.
The show was created not only for aesthetic reasons, but also with careful attention to animation and scores. The storyboard was precisely designed to control the pace, tone and emotional power of each episode, giving the performers great freedom to influence dialogue and movement. An important unique element during the development was the integration of musical elements that not only complemented but also the core of the story.
The entire world and lore of Steven Universe was created with care, creativity, and the goal of positively impacting viewers. The book's "Creature" chapter highlights these efforts and provides a glimpse into the thoughtful craftsmanship that laid the foundation for the world of Steven Universe.


Steven Universe: Art & Origins is a treasured masterpiece that takes fans behind the scenes of the animated series, revealing the fascinating journey behind the creation of the show and the inspiration behind the unique artistic choices. Packed with character designs, storyboards, and concept art, as well as insights from creator Rebecca Sugar and members of the show's team, this book offers an amazing look into the extraordinary universe that touched the hearts of millions.
As you turn the pages, you'll be amazed at the detailed sketches that have become beloved characters. You will discover the thought process behind the creation of each gem, their skills and the intricate symbolism embedded in their design. The book also delves into visual art and background, describing the innovative use of color and light to convey emotion and atmosphere, subtly enhancing the narrative in visual ways rarely seen in animated series. What's impressive is that Art & Origins is more than just a collection of images. It tells the story of the show and captures the passion, creativity and humanity that went into its creation. Content ranges from excerpts from the show's creator's notebooks to memories of the production process, providing invaluable insight into the challenges and triumphs we faced in bringing the world of Steven Universe to life.
Longtime viewers will definitely appreciate the behind-the-scenes look at the show's mythology and characters, which only delve into the intricacies of the show. At the same time, anyone interested in animation will gain an in-depth understanding of the hard work and ingenuity that went into creating such a deeply emotional and visually stunning series. At its core, Steven Universe: Art & Origins is a fascinating exploration of a truly groundbreaking show that is both a tribute to the artists and a testament to the power of creative storytelling in animation. This is essential reading for both fans of the series and fans of artistic innovation.


In Steven Universe: Art & Origins, Release brings the joy of the show's vibrant, imaginative and diverse universe to life like never before. This chronicles the creation of this ground-breaking GLAAD Media Award winner for Outstanding Children's and Family Programming.
The creative minds of Rebecca Sugar and her talented team of writers and performers are brought to life in this book from close-up experience of the show's development stages. From the initial character sketches and world design to the unique behind-the-scenes production art, this compendium delves into the visual development of the show.
Reading the Release chapter feels like a journey through a magical universe as each page brings you closer to the essence of Steven and the Crystal Gems. A highlight is an in-depth commentary from Sugar herself, revealing the inspiration and philosophy behind the beloved characters that shaped the show's messages of love, acceptance and diversity.
Complete with photos and notes showcasing various aspects of the show's creation – concept art, storyboards and stills – it's a treasure trove for fans. It offers new insights and trivia about the show and invites readers to immerse themselves in the creation of Steven Universe.
Steven Universe: Art & Origins celebrates the passion and creativity that brought this universe to life. It invites art and entertainment lovers to appreciate the meticulous detail and hard work that went into creating this beloved series.


The reception to Steven Universe: Art & Origins has been overwhelmingly positive. The book is seen as a deep dive into the creative process of the beloved animated series. Many fans and critics have praised the book's elaborate production, which includes first-ever character sketches and never-before-seen concept art that effectively illuminates the artistic evolution of the show.
The enlightening interviews in the book provide insight into the thematic nuances of the series, significantly adding to the richness of the story. The detailed visual design of settings such as Beach City is also praised, giving readers a holistic view of the vibrant world of Steven Universe. Essays by the series' creators and illustrators are another acclaimed feature, as they provide a first-hand look at the creative techniques that went into making the series.
However, the book is not without its critics. Some fans wanted the book to offer even more unreleased gems or maybe even a peek at future installments. Regardless, the book remains an indispensable resource for fans of Steven Universe who want a closer look at the history and construction of the series. At its core, Steven Universe: Art & Origins embodies the spirit of the show's brilliance in an engaging, tangible form.

Cultural impact

The cultural impact of Steven Universe is immense and resonates far beyond its original target demographic. Known for its seamless inclusivity and rich animated storytelling, the show has helped increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ themes and characters in children's entertainment. He introduced the audience to the developing characters on many levels, showing them in various relationships that embody various familial, platonic and romantic interactions.
The creator of the series, Rebecca Sugar, broke down stereotypes and strengthened the representation of gender identity and sexual orientation in animation. Characters such as Pomegranate, clearly revealed as the union of two female characters to signify a love relationship, have become iconic symbols of same-sex love. Groundbreaking episodes like "Prison Break" and "Mr. Greg" were praised for their thoughtful presentation of complex themes of identity and love that resonated with audiences of all ages.
In addition to the LGBTQ+ story, the show also advocated for mental health positivity. He tackled issues like anxiety, trauma, grief and other mental health issues through his epic and emotionally deep storylines, destigmatizing these issues among the audience.
Steven Universe has also been shown to have a significant influence on artistic culture. The unique visual style, a combination of anime, western cartoons and video game aesthetics, quickly captured the hearts of viewers and future artists. Many cite this as their artistic inspiration, contributing to the explosion of fan art sharing and engagement across social media platforms.
In short, Steven Universe is much more than just a TV show. It's a cultural behemoth that has left an indelible mark on today's pop culture landscape. It enhanced representation, challenged traditional genre boundaries, and sparked much-needed conversations about topics often considered too complex for standard animation, leaving a lasting legacy both in the hearts of viewers and in the annals of animation.