Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Illustrating a Book Cover

Although most of my work is commissioned in the UK, I also have an agent in the US, Kendra Marcus, and every so often something comes up. The exchange rate has made it very difficult to work with US publishers in the last few years, but things are slightly better just now.

This latest job is a single illustration: a cover for an educational book. These jobs always have silly deadlines and are normally needed yesterday. This time it's not too bad. Above is my rough, which I had to get done ASAP, but the artwork isn't due until the end of next week.

The weird thing about educational work, is that they send you a pre-designed image to follow. This is because there are usually several elements that need to be included, to do with the lesson being taught. The drawing above was done at the publisher's as a guide for me.

This is how it's done for advertising too. It's not as creative, or as much fun as generating the image yourself, but it does make the job quicker. Having said that, I've had a right job with this one, battling to make the shadow idea work. I'm still not 100% sure: I've taken a lot of liberties, but it's one of those ideas that works a lot easier very rough, than when you have to draw it properly!


Doda said...

I appreciate you sharing all these interesting snippets of information.

cassia said...

'it's one of those ideas that works a lot easier very rough, than when you have to draw it properly!'

So, like most of mine then!

Would love to see the results when you're done.


don pablo said...

I like very much your drawings!
especially sketches in pencil that I saw in your blog
I seem excellent!

I add to my links


weechuff said...

I hope we will get to see the finished article Lynne?

Anonymous said...

Well done, I think that this is looking great hopefully your client will feel the same way.


Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

It's great to see the process one goes through on a job. Thanks for posting both pictures - and it's great to see the choices you made in your drawing. I like the dimension you brought to the piece (in the background, with the shadow, in the path). Excellent!

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you! It'll be interesting to post the feedback I get from the client when it comes in. I will of course show you the finished artwork when it's done.

that's just it said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I am amazed with your illustrations. I have always thought of looking into your profession.

How much of the drawing process is done with the computer?

Lynne Chapman said...

My actual drawing is always done the traditional way. I always maintain it is far easier to just draw, and there is no subtitute for a pencil line!

If you read back through my blog though, I talk a lot about how I do use computers as part of the process.

Anonymous said...

I´m Tomás,

I´m waiting a commission from USA too. The agency (from Chicago) says that my style has been aproved by the editors and now I´ve just seen your fantastic entry in your blog about your educational commission in USA and I want you to ask if it´s a good job or not.

Now I´m drawing (and writing) a children´s book for the Art Decó Museum of Salamanca, traditional style like you do, watercolor and ink, and it´s taking me a lot of time. Do you use the same time in educational works as children´s books?

Lynne Chapman said...

hello Tomas,

Unfortunately I find my work takes as long as it takes. I also believe you should only ever do your best work, as it's out there with your name on it, and it's all advertising in the end.

Having said that, you have to be aware of what fees you are being paid - you can't spend 2 weeks on a piece of work that is only paying $500. If the fee is too low for the time I think I'll need, I turn it down. But of course that's easy to say, and it all depends on how much work you have booked in! Sometimes you can simplify your idea, to make it quicker.

Educational work is always going to be lower down your list of must-have jobs than a picture book, but you do what you have time for and what you enjoy. There is usually room for a little of both.