Ali Smith is our resident illustrator at Spiderwize and her talent for drawing and creating just the right image for the job is amazing. Here, she describes the process she follows when creating illustrations:
I've loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. As I grew up, I switched from pen and paper to digital art, learning to draw on a computer with a wacom pad and stylus using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
As an illustrator, my job is not simply to produce artwork, but to create artwork that effectively and accurately sums up the part of the book it is representing. It's important to produce the right illustration. And to try and do this, I generally follow this process...
Once I receive the brief, I (skim) read through the relevant parts of the book. This provides clues about the characters and personalities involved, the setting, and also the mood of the scene.
Next, I make notes for each illustration. I combine these details with any input you've provided and summarise the scene in a few sentences. At this stage, I often run my notes by the author to see if they agree with my interpretation and whether they have any other input.
The next step is to create a 'rough' illustration based on this summary, creating the background scene before placing the character/characters. Once the scene is composed, I go back and refine these elements, working on the details. I like to include odd details that are specific or relevant to the story, as this helps bring the tale to life.
To perfect expression or poses, I use photo reference images sourced online. Using references for artwork is essential to help with details that wouldn't otherwise occur to me if I just worked from my imagination alone. This helps the illustration look 'right'.
Once the illustrations are completed, we send the artwork back to the author or add it to the manuscript to complete the book.
If you wish to express your interest in our illustration service, please contact us.