WHEN YOUR ILLUSTRATOR AND YOU ARE NOT THAT CLOSE.
Many people have asked me about the process of illustrating a picture book with an artist who lived 15,391km away from me. So here it is...
1. After writing all the text I, in Australia, drew a very rough sketch of what I had in mind and sent it to Aleksandar, in Serbia.
2. Aleksandar in turn drew his rough version and sent it back to me in Australia for approval.
3. I either approved and the image was drawn as a final awaiting any small last minute add on details from me. Or I edited the image therefore steps 1 and 2 would be repeated. Being such a gifted illustrator, despite the challenges of communicating everything via e-mails, most of the time I approved Aleksandar's images as a final.
Have a look at how it all worked out....
STEP 1. My initial sketch. Two children drinking hot chocolate milk whilst clinking their glasses and saying "Cheers". The black around their mouth is not dirt, it is the infamous hot chocolate moustache.
Step 2: Aleksandar's first rough draft based on my initial sketch.
Step 3: Aleksandar doing his magic. Final illustration.
Step 1: My initial sketch of the accordion - a little bland, I know I know.
Step 2: Aleksandar's rough draft based on my picture.
Step 3: I asked him to add on a man playing the accordion and draw some money wedged into the instrument. This is a custom in Serbia where one puts monetary notes in the musician's instrument as a show of respect and gratitude. This is done with many different traditional instruments such as trumpet, accordion and even in the bell covered hip scarf of a bellydancer. I love the realism of the accordion.