Children's Book Illustration... part 2
The last two weeks of the course let us create a magical environment for our character and the book cover.
This was my heaven. To make up a world where the story takes place was something I have never really done before but just took me away into another world. I suddenly realised just how many possibilities there were and almost how I would love to spend many years of my life doing this.
The text I chose was set in a garden, “grandma’s garden”, to be precise. I decided I wanted this to be an urban garden, and in a bit of a fairytale city - one that I would love to go and wander the streets of. I wanted to make a city of hills and rooftops and little tiny windows. The scene I chose was a sad one. It is after Grandma dies and the main character is feeling alone. So, I wanted Lotta to look tiny. I also decided she needed a companion, so I invented a little brother.
Then I started on the spread. Week four of the class we had to complete a whole spread of the book and I think this was my favourite moment. I had three days to do it, and drew almost every moment of those three days. It was a drawing marathon and I just adored it. My table was covered in all my pencils and gouache and watercolour. I scribbled and drew, and invented a town - and one that at the end, I really did want to stroll streets of. I felt very proud of the world I created.
And finally, the cover. The last week was to make a cover that ‘popped’. One that showed off the character, included hand lettering, and jumped off the page, particularly when tiny (as it often is in the buying catalogues).
This was an easier week for me as it was right in my comfort zone as a designer. Pulling together elements to create a great composition and things that pop, is what I do everyday. But it was such a nice way to pull things all together.
This course really added a new direction to career and illustration goals. When I was younger I always hoped one day I might illustrate a children’s book, but until now I had never explored it, or done anything about this very vague ‘hope’. I took this course to try it on for size, see how illustrating for the world of children might work for me - and I discovered it definitely would.
Now to work on polishing these pieces and send them away to publishers!