Early this year I was commissioned to produce a series of illustrations for a one off childrens book. It is intended as a personal gift and so won't be published. The brief was; an adult male, a girl and a rabbit, an Easter story set in a local snowplay area called Corin Forest.
This was an interesting proposition. Last year I participated in The 52 Week Illustration Challenge, which was founded by a childrens book author who wanted to extend her drawing/ illustration skills. Participating in this challenge meant producing an illustration each week to a different one word topic. I found it was a way to get me drawing subjects and styles I may not otherwise tackle. Drawing people for example is not something I do regularly, so this commission presented me with an opportunity to work further outside my comfort zone and explore the possbilities.
Story book illustrators have their own unique set of problems to solve. The drawings are there to complement and help tell the story. Continuity of both characters and the environment to put them in was an interesting challenge. As someone not used to drawing people I am now faced with drawing the same person repeatedly, doing and expressing something different from one page to the next! Tricky!
It was quite fun letting go of the constraints of Botanical drawing wherein you have to be acurate and true to the subject, in this my imagination got a look in. Guided by the authors story it was up to me to provide an environment on the page for the three characters to inhabit.
I am reasonably happy with how it turned out, given that I had very limited time and I am a first time book illustrator. I learnt heaps and found I quite enjoyed the experience plus my client seemed happy- what more could I ask for?
To see the full suite of Illustrations click here.