Thursday, July 15, 2010
Book Illustration - a new initiative
Today I write about a completely new experience - book illustration!
I was asked by a friend to illustrate his first children's book, a book about two little ladybugs who go visit their cherished grandmother. It is being launched this week - a small quantity printed (100 only) as we've never done this! But it is really looking like it will be a success for a first book for him.
The interesting thing for me about this exercise was how much I was pushed out of my comfort zone. Seemingly simple, the truth is that this is the most challenging thing I've ever done in painting - not technically but in composing. You see, as a want-to-be-artist, we tend to "choose" pictures we like, and we attempt to paint them, interpret them in "our style". But these illustrations had to come from the mind's eye entirely, based on the stories in the book, a book that I didn't write or imagine - it was written by someone else. So the challenge was to "produce" an image in my mind as I read from the pages. And I loved it the entire process. It's like when we read a book, we "produce" it in our mind's eye - we choose how the characters look, we "create" the images from the pages in our minds. And it is yet a further step to bring this to fruition - to actually produce these images onto paper, frame after frame, colour choice after colour choice - remembering the mixes to retain a semblance of consistency, of cohesiveness, between the pages.
I've had so much fun bringing these little characters to life. They almost become real in your mind. You imagine their laughter and adventuresome spirits. And you realize that, deep down, they are you, they are yours. Your own perception and creation.
Here is the cover page, and the last page inset. I hope you enjoy them!