Month: April 2014

To be Continued…

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To Be Continued…

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A quick sum up the semester

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I found this semester quite hard as it was very different compared to the last 3 years, due to the way I had to look at the work in a different way. Usually I would illustrate the obvious by taking parts of the text and using different perspectives to create a interesting image. The Borges text I found hard to understand as it was quite cryptic and I found it hard to try and create a children’s book theme out of it.

When developing work for the Borges text, I knew I wanted to develop something with a sequential element to it. This was difficult nevertheless I did not give up. If I had a mental block I did not leave it, I kept developing and creating pieces until I found something I could work from. I did not know exactly what the tutors or I wanted so I was stuck. Producing images allowed me to find a topic to focus on which was frustration and puzzlement. From there I was able to develop more work that eventually lead to creating a children’s picture book. It was my first time making a picture book that had the same image repeated like a flipbook with only certain items moving.

After completing the Borges text and past projects I feel I have a strong passion for children’s books and this is where my ‘Field of Study’ lies. I love the development process, creating the story, characters, materials etc. as well as having the final outcome of the physical finished book. It allows me to express my own thoughts/feelings through sequential imagery as well as allowing me to unlock my imagination and use my style of work which can be enjoyed by children and adults alike due to the specific materials, colour, mark making and topics I base my work on. I will hopefully become a freelance children’s book illustrator.


P.s I also entered the MacMillan children’s book competition, I sent the recent Bon Appetit book and the Mouse’s Monsters. I will know if I have been chosen or won next friday. Fingers Crossed!


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So my book from Lulu came today and it looks pretty fab. The cover has got a nice gloss to it and the quality of paper isn’t too bad the only fault with it is there is a white line at the bottom where it is meant to be full bleed which is annoying but at least I know for next time to make the image slightly bigger. The blurb book is still in transit and I think is being delivered on monday which is unfortunately going to be too late. Here are images of the Lulu book:

Side profile. 32 pages really isn’t very thick.
An open page, the page texture and thickness are quite good saying it’s lulu’s standard paper.
Front cover, it has a glossy front to it.

The pages inside follow onto one another nicely and I can’t see any faults when it comes to important information getting lost inside the centre fold.

Also today I made the smaller flip book for my other original book, Bon Voyage. Here are a few images:

The finished product
Long pages- 18cm x 8cm
From above it is very thin.
Japanese binding


I think it is slightly too long and so it is hard to get a smooth run when flicking through each image. However, I made it by printing off all the individual images whilst leaving a slight white gap for the binding. I then wanted to practice binding using sewing as the last time I had ago was in college. I chose stab binding which is an old Japanese technique to bind books.Using these instructions:, which are easy to understand. It was quite fiddly and I had to be careful not to rip or split the pages but I eventually did it. I placed a thin bit of card on the back to give the book some support and wrapped the front cover round as well as using a light blue thread to go with the water/sea theme. I didn’t cover the binding with the front cover as I think the look of it is quite stylish and I like it how you can see how it was made.

Over the course of the year I would ideally like to try out some more techniques in book binding, this would broaden my knowledge in this area and may help me to design more aesthetically pleasing books rather then picking perfect bound all the time.

Now I am currently updating my sketchbook and I have placed the flats for Bon Appetit within my portfolio.

Lulu Update

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Yay! I sorted out the problem I had with Lulu. It was because I wasn’t placing 32 pages within the book but it didn’t tell me that it just went no and that was that. Usually books count the front cover as a page but it was alright as I just added a few blank pages and I have now sent that off for print. Now it’s just a race for which book is going to get her first and hopeful before deadline day.

Children’s book covers – review

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When making my own book I always struggle making my front cover as I tend to make it too simplistic or it doesn’t look appealing to the viewer. I went through this book and picked out the covers from various books that I found attractive and would pick up at a book store to look at further:

Front Cover
Children’s Book Cover, 2003, Written by Alan Powers.

This is the front cover of the book about front covers! Guess what, it is filled with front covers!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Page 33.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1993, Written by Lewis Carroll, Page 33.

This is illustrated by Tony Ross who also wrote Stone Soup which I enjoyed reading as a child. It is very colourful, all based on the colour blue and he has has used ratio and perspective to create the effect of Alice being really big and can’t fit nicely anywhere. With characters hidden in the background to give a sense of what the story holds.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland created by Lewis Carroll, Page 33.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1907, Written by Lewis Carroll, Page 33.

This was illustrated by Arthur Rackham, a totally different take on the story. Alice is beautifully drawn using block binding for a gift book edition, she is isolated and is staring right at the viewer which could be seen as a little intimidating.

A Child's Garden of Verses written by R.L. Stevenson, Page 35.
A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1948, Written by R.L. Stevenson, Page 35.

Eve Garnett illustrated this one and it shows sentimentality with the flowers in her hand and the expression on her face. Again an isolated figure not giving much away about what is inside the story, we only know with the type above but otherwise you wouldn’t know what the book would be about.

Written by R.L. Stevenson, Page 35.
A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1966, Written by R.L. Stevenson, Page 35.

I picked this cover out as I find it really intriguing as the animals are boldly drawn and have a weird stare to them. Illustrated by Brian Wildsmith he uses bold distinct colours that tend to represent the animal. The animals are clearly not accurate but are drawn in an artistic way, looking like they have been drawn by a child. The kings in the background are more neatly rendered and stand out from the animals, if he created the kings in the same way I would have thought everything would blend into on blob of colour.

In the Night Kitchen, Written by Maurice Sendak, Page 91.
In the Night Kitchen, 1971, Written by Maurice Sendak, Page 91.

Illustrated by Maurice Sendak he uses bold shapes and colours, although he uses shades of darkness and lightness to show depth in the scene. I couldn’t see what was going on in the scene until I read the little caption underneath – the boy is in an aeroplane made out of dough and is flying over New York. For me personally I like the image but I think it isn’t clearly readable on what’s going on.

Hildilid's Night, written by Cheli Duran Ryan, Page 99.
Hildilid’s Night, 1973, Written by Cheli Duran Ryan, Page 99.

I like this simple black and white drawing with the yellow bold text. Illustrated by Arnold Lobel, the scene looks like she is scared running away from the moon suggesting the topics linked to full moons are werewolves. It would make me pick up  the book as I want to know what happens to her and the story behind this scene.

The Enormous Crocodile, 1978, Written by Roald Dahl, Page 119.

Illustrated by the well known illustrator Quentin Blake, he has used both sides of the front and back cover which creates another scene in itself. I could do this for my book but I feel like I simple front cover with a simple illustration on the back would work better as it’s a small square book and I don’t want the look of it too be overpowered by a large image.

Dutch paper, Page 15.
Dutch paper, Page 15.

I have seen books where they don’t have a scene or a main character at all on the from cover and all there is a blank or patterned book. I find the patterns have to be beautifully created or have a simplicity to them for me to want to know whats inside of the book. I don’t this style would suit my book, I need to grab the viewers attention straight away and not let them get bored of the first image they see.

The Roly-Poly Pudding written by Beatrix Potter, Page 27.
The Roly-Poly Pudding, 1908, Written by Beatrix Potter, Page 27.

Another classic that many people know,  illustrated by Beatrix it shows a scene where the nice are making dinner out of the cat. I found this scene quite scary with the facial expressions and the body positions the characters are showing. I like how there is one main scene in the centre with type above but then there are smaller line illustrations placed around the scene. I think it shows what is to come inside the book but without giving too much away.

Three Aesop Fox Fables written by Paul Galdone, Page 29.
Three Aesop Fox Fables, 1972, Written by Paul Galdone, Page 29.
Page 122.
Where’s Spot? 1980, Written by Eric Hill, Page 122.
Page 123
Five Minutes’ Peace, 1988, Written by Jill Murphy, Page 123.

All these three book include the main character in the scene. Three Aesop Fox Fables illustrated by Paul Galdone chose one character out of all the fables and focused the image on the personality of the fox. Eric Hill illustrated Where’s Spot? he has used flat line and colour drawings on a white background to highlight the main character and objects within the scene. I think this style wouldn’t suit the cover of my book as the drawings inside wouldn’t be the same as the front and would look odd. Jill Murphy who illustrated Five Minutes’ Peace has used the opposite to Eric and placed the main character on a dark background using light colours to highlight character.

From looking at this book I have realised there isn’t a set layout or design you should use when creating the front cover, you can create a exciting scene or just focus on a main character. After looking through my book I decided to use an image within and the use a small element of an illustration to place on the back. This was the outcome:

Front Cover


The book being called Bon Appetit it shows the fish looking at the worm thinking that could be their dinner yet the fisherman is also getting his dinner whilst lounging in the boat. The worm in the back cover carries on the theme of  fishing and it doesn’t overpower the front cover. I am pleased with this front cover and if I would change it I think I would spend more time in developing a new scene.

All Images from:

Powers, A., 2003, Children’s Book Cover – Great book jacket and cover design. London: Mitchell Beazley.

Day 5 of challenge

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So today is the day I send off my book to the printers! I have finished bang on the day I need to so hopefully it will come on time. I have already been with blurb and I know they can take a while to deliver so I decided to try Lulu as it says they do fast delivery and they are cheaper then blurb so I thought great!

How I was wrong… it seems easy at first and I uploaded all my separate images as they don’t allow double paged spreads but then every time I tried to go to the next stage an error would come up and I couldn’t access all the work I just uploaded. It took me about an hour to load everything and so I did this 3  to 4 more times using different files and I still would get this error message. I tried all day and so I logged off and they said they were doing maintenance!

So I went back to blurb and they were easy and simple – download a software where you can just plonk your work on in order and then order your book. The delivery date is the 30th of April which is two days past the deadline but they said it can be delivered before so I am just keeping my fingers crossed they deliver it before! I paid for the quickest delivery as well which isn’t cheap! It’s just a waiting game now…

Day 4 of challenge

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I have got two days to finish the last two scenes of my story boards and create the little fiddly bits like the title page and front cover. I will also go back over my other images to see if I need to add anything else or to tweak little mistakes. 9am is the time I started again and I thought I would produce these two images within a few hours as I produced 5 in a day before but how I was very wrong! It took me all day to finish these two off, I don’t know if it’s because of the pressure I placed myself under or if these scenes were just more technically more difficult. Here is one of the scenes I produced that day:

Pages 21-22


I found this scene really difficult to get my head around as the colours had to be careful picked. I chose red for the background where the pans were but it overpowered the lettering and looked terrible. So I chose blue – linked with the ocean and it calms the scene down. I also had to be picky when picking the colours for the delicious smell – green or brown would make the smell seem horrible and wouldn’t fit the topic, I didn’t want a strong colour as it’s meant to be the steam coming off the food containing the nice smell. I went for a cream colour which is similar to the fish and potato colour. I think it works as it’s slightly opaque making it not heavy and thick.

I looked at this book which is on my next blog called Children’s book cover – Great book jacket and cover designs by Alan Powers. This was so I could see as a collective the best and bad books covers over time. From there I can design my cover, I may re-design a new image or simply use a page from my book which can work just as good.

I worked from 9am to 10pm on this day with two 15minute breaks and of course dinner! A girl has got to eat! I had finally finished my extra bits of work including changing some of the previous scene. I had finally completed the book! Woo! Now all I need to do is send it to the printers, easy right…