For the last little while (I don’t like to think about how long, because it makes me realise how little I update this blog with what I’ve been up to. (Twitter @sector4 might be more up to date, but probably not, if you’re interested.)) I’ve been working with Grosset & Dunlap an imprint of Penguin publishing over the in U S of A to produce black and white illustrations for the interior of their Who Was/Who is series of books.
Each book contains around 80 illustrations, and I’ve had the pleasure of drawing political leaders to baseball players, Nobel Prize winners and rock stars. And there’s more on the horizon.
I think the part I really love about this work is how much of a chance I get to really dig in to a subject. The editorial work I’ve been more used to picking up is a blast because of the limited timeframe, coming up with the best ideas you can and executing them is a lot of fun and a huge challenge, but with these books there’s the chance to slow down slightly and research a bit deeper. Take Who Is Derek Jeter - I’ve never seen a game of baseball in my life, and suddenly I’ve got the challenge of 80 drawings that need to accurately represent the game, the way the players stand etc. It’s an enjoyable challenge.
On top of that, just getting to sit down with my brush, ink and chosen paper stock and work on my linework and inking for 80 images is invaluable practice. I’m still not where I want to be in terms of inking, (who IS really, with any facet of their work?) but I have noticed an improvement and, have highlighted many more areas to work on to get closer to the work I want to make.
Click on the 'Children's Books' section above to see more!
(I’ve also probably learned as much as the kids that end up reading the series about each books subject!)