Now my monitor trauma is over, I've been able to finish the scans for Dragon's Dinner, so I love my sweet computer again. What do think of the cover now it's got this lovely lime background? I'm SO pleased with it!
Newer illustrators (and all kids) won't remember life before computers, but I do. I started with an old fashioned typewriter (I couldn't type though and used buckets of Tippex - does that still exist?), no email of course, not even a telephone for the first 6 months, just a phone box on the corner of my road (mobiles wouldn't exist for a decade or so), a photocopier in the post office and a fax machine at a local newsagents.
It's all fairly subtle stuff, but the overall effect is much better.
I am not responsible for the text: Jenny, the Designer at Hodder has done that bit. She chose the font and had last word on the text position. Look carefully though: can you see the name of the little cottage? That was done by me, but notice it's not on the original. That's because it's done separately, to allow for translating foreign editions. Whatever Mouse Cottage is in Spanish, Dutch, Korean etc can easily be dropped into the image, in place of my English version. The easiest way for me to create the text, is on a layer floating above the image, drawn in 'virtual' pastels. I use Corel Painter for this, which emulates pastels. I can even create a virtual version of my textured paper to draw on! (see Tracing Up the Cover of Dragon's Dinner)
So, though they can be a pain in oh, so many ways, computers are still wonderful, don't you agree?