So the news is, I'm very close to finishing my second children's book with the fabulous singer songwriter Lou Rhodes! Its called "The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony" and follows on from our first book, "The Phlunk". Set to be released on the 20th of September, this is looking to be a really exciting book for a worldwide audience!
It was such a challenge for me as I am the least musically minding person since the history of time, but I've really enjoyed the process and development of this project, more than any other for a long time.
When working with an author, its always an interesting path to find their vision of their story, and The Worldwide Symphony took a good long while in order for us to be on the same page. As an Illustrator I think you'll understand how complex it can be to illustrate what others see, rather than how you'd like it to be. These discussions have led to so much growth and new design processes which I wouldn't have found without it.
Children have never really been my absolute strongest point, often looking much older than they should be, so I was really thrown in at the deep end in this book. With many different ethnicities, hair styles, traditional dress and also musical poses, I began to stretch my skills and fine tune my confidence in illustrating children. Below is the original artworks for how I wanted the characters to look in the book, sadly they didn't make the cut but I hope they enjoy their small moment of fame right here!
After some time pondering and a plentiful amount of tea, (and in actual fact, a good half a sketchbook later!) I was able to develop a style than still resembled my work, but was also suitable for the authors brief in very simplistic (almost stick like) characters. As you can appreciate, there is only so far you can simplify characters in a picture book!
Above is a final page from The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony, and you can see how far the style developed just in one book! Hopefully you'll agree that it still captures the essence of my digital collage style, but still remains fairly simplistic.