By Annette Wood
Jan 6, 2018
Work In Progress
Illustrated young adult book
I'm in the process of finishing up a fantastic project! It's a set of two young adult books in the self-help genre; Relaxed Learning through Jackson's Fables and Relaxed Learning Through Creative Visualizations By William Jackson, Ph.D. In the initial conversation with my client, the author, we decided that there would be a two page spread illustration at the start of each Fable/Chapter. I suggested a style of line drawing with watercolor and the client loved the idea!
During the initial concept phase I worked up my designs while keeping in mind that there would be two books, and while they were different, they needed to have common or similar design factors that would unite them.
The first thing I did was to show the author two different Fables with a rough illustration... I showed each with three different fonts for the body text and titles. He chose one of the three formats and we were off!
My next step was to conceptualize all the illustrations and do a rough line drawing of each.
One of the most exciting things about this project... he just gave me the the text and let me go wild with the illustrations! I got to conceptualize each illustration!
As I worked on the drawings, I also started to layout the text. I already knew that I would be sprinkling about 20 spot illustrations throughout each book... by doing a rough layout of the text early on, I was able to determine the best size and placement for the spot illustrations and create them accordingly.
Having the color spot illustrations throughout the text helped to create cohesion between the chapter pages and the main text, but I wanted to take it a step further... In Creative Visualizations the chapter number was represented by a sketchy circle in white over the illustration with the chapter number showing through as the color of the illustration, as if the number was cut out of the circle. I decided to carry over a prominent color from the chapter page illustration into a unique running header with the circle from the chapter page. For Jackson's Fables the running header also included a color from the chapter illustration, but this time with a rough, loose watercolor shape.
After delivering the first proof, the editor and I worked back and forth... to create a nice flow of the text she and I both determined places for new spot illustrations.
This project has been a joy to work on! I've been able to really utilize my creativity and produce some illustrations that I am really proud of!