A more detailed post about my illustrated childrens book is in order, now that I’m not rushing around with a convention to prep for. 🙂
Basically it revolves around a personal, ancient character of mine named Morti (We share the nickname but there is no other resemblance!) and she goes on a quest to find out what “awesome” means! She speaks to all of her jungle friends who are unfortunately unable to help her, until she comes across the wise monkey, who reveals the secret.
It was a big of big personal project, the biggest I’ve done yet, but from the initial writing, thumbnailing, and character design stages, right through the sketching, inking, colouring, and layout stages, I had real fun making it. 🙂 Some of the characters were quite difficult to pin down in terms of visual design, while others just fell out of the pencil fully-formed. Such as the lion, who began life quite un-likeable, big-headed and obnoxious. He was very big and strong-looking, very handsome, sort of like Gaston from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” movie. His finished form in the book is actually a very mellow, very humble poet, complete with dark turtleneck, beret and shades! A total 360 from an un-likeable jerk, to a very friendly, likeable character!
Thumbnailing was a pain but a totally necessary step, similar to storyboarding for animation or anything that needs to move. Figuring out roughly what goes where, to help continuity, is super useful and made the next sketch stages (almost) a piece of cake!
Here are some photos of the finished books, I’ll be making another post very soon featuring some of the character concept progress work, thumbnails, sketches and some finished pages, so stay tuned!