It seems like an absolute age since I've been able to properly share some finished work and not just limit myself to a sneaky-peek of a corner here and there. Well, that is about to end as the time has come for me to overload, bombard and otherwise hit you over the head with my work. In the last week, I've had four, FOUR, projects published, with another three coming out at the end of this month. It's literally the last 18 months of my life crammed in to a six week block.
The first two books both came out at the end of June and are published by Ladybird. When the initial email came through about the first one, The Red Knight, I think I just went "YES! YES! Even if you are only paying me £2.50 I will work for you!!!!", but then collected myself and answered "yes, please" in my most professional manner.
You may recall early last year when I was umming and ahhing about the colour of the outline here and here, and I'm really glad I chose the darkest of dark greens for Tom's outline, and a dark red for the Knight's. I love how experimenting at the beginning of a project can develop and inform all other projects you do in the future from then on. Now, I do all my outlines in one colour, rather than each part of them - like their hair, skin, clothes - having a different colour. And I am more in love with Manga Studio than ever. It is the best programme I've found for creating realistic ink pen lines.
The all-important title page.
My fave spread, above.
It's so strange finally seeing something in print that you worked on so long ago; this was finished in April/May 2012. There are bits in it that I can see the AD was totally right about that I rankled over a bit, but that's all part of the learning process.
The second book is Dom's Dragon, which I was working on this time last year.
I will never get bored of seeing my name in a title page; it's always so exciting.
I hope my colour ideas come through here. I wanted the beginning of the book to feel cold and icy, with Glow the dragon being the only red thing, but as she warms up Dom's house and eventually the whole town, everything becomes warmer and redder and sunnier, until the last spread is very hot and bright. I think it works, if only on a subliminal level!
The King is reminiscent of Charles II because at the time I was working on the roughs, the summer sun had brought out my Freckle Moustache, and I had somehow styled my hair with a centre parting and curls one day and ended up looking like ol' Charlie boy. He had to go in, as, of course, did bunny slippers.
Most excitingly, these are also eBooks. I'm on a Kindle!!!! Unfortunately, I didn't get sent a free download link for them, but I went and bought them myself anyway. The artwork was actually created on a square format for each page, so there is actually a lot more background on each side of each spread. I think something slightly different is happening with that - possibly eBook related - but I'm not 100% sure what it is yet .... keep you posted.
The other two books out in the last week are activity books published by Autumn Publishing; I'll go in to detail about those later this week, my typing fingers need a rest!