A few months ago, I agreed to take on a project with a to-be author. I was tasked with the job of illustrating a series of stories she’d written to aid her with the general growing up of her own children. The stories contain messages and lessons in how to behave, how to respond to problems in their lives and what to do in certain situations. The stories give these ‘lessons’ indirectly, showing the reader situations involving animals and other issues rather than directly addressing the narrative as being about children/a child.
I personally love this idea, I feel it’s worked incredibly well for other stories so it’ll definitely work well for these. Especially since my client has a particularly unique take on storytelling and how to communicate to children without treating them as, well, children. They seem to respond much better and with more enthusiasm when presented with stories and lessons which are seemingly above their age bracket, treating them as more ‘grown up’ than they actually are. The stories aren’t heavily sugar coated, they aren’t cutesy and kitschy and , in leu of this, she’s asked for my illustrations to communicate this.
No fluffy, bug-eyed cute illustrations (thank god. The world has more than enough of those!), I was asked to generate more charcoal based, messy, textured illustrations; exactly what I enjoy doing anyway!
Below are the images created so far. They may change or may stay exactly as they are. They’ll be taken through test screen prints by my client over the next few weeks so we can see how well the nice charcoal texture prints. I’m proper excited about this project…
(Below are the lines I experimented with with the intention of having a consistent line much like these running throughout the book. The line will change according to the emotions and narratives as the story progresses)