Making Ogilvy

My new book, Ogilvy, written by Deborah Underwood from Macmillan is out now! I thought I would share a little about the illustration process, check it out below. 

(Click here to buy now!)

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Flashback to July 13, 2013. It was the summer after my freshman year in college. I was working in an office supply fulfillment warehouse during the day and I started to write and storyboard a children’s book at night. 

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When I started these sketches the story I was trying to write was called “New Sweater.” The idea was super simple and minimal. A bunny’s sweater was too tight so he wanted to get a new one. 

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My initial plan was that the character would spend 90% of the book trying on different funny sweaters that did not fit him. For example, sleeves that were too long or too short, sweaters that were too wide or too itchy. Then he would finally end up finding the perfect fit. 

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I was convinced this bunny was going to be my first book, so I made full final art for every page. Here are some early bunny book finals.

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This is more “final art” from 2013. The story never really went anywhere. I put the images on my website and forgot about them. In September 2016, I got an email from my agent saying that Deborah Underwood had a manuscript with my bunny character in mind. I was so excited!

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Fun Fact - The first thing I did when I got the manuscript in 2017 was walk to my closet. I took pictures of every sweater I had. Then I put them into Photoshop to design a unique sweater color and pattern for each bunny in the story.

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1/7 This was the first thumbnail sketch I did for Ogilvy. I had a clear idea in my mind – a little tree and all the bunnies playing. If you can’t see the beautiful image I was imagining, I totally get it  – this is a mess.

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2/7 This is a more refined colored sketch I turned in during the rough draft phase. 

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3/7 This was my first attempt at a final spread. I felt good about it at first, but over time I started to see all the mistakes I had made. Character proportions were all wrong and things were too sloppy. I needed to rethink how I was going to do this book.

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4/7 I ended up changing my illustration process to make this book work. Whenever I began the final artwork I would start by making a full black and white drawing like this.

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5/7 Step two - Sweaters. After I finished all of the outlines and shading, I would move on to adding all the sweater textures, more shading and the background color. 

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6/7 Step three - All the tiny details. I would add pink to bunny cheeks, then additional textures, draw tiny works of art on the paper laying about in the scene and tone down all the dark black lines and shading to a more mild grey. 

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7/7 After a few final tweaks this is the art that ended up in the book! Ogilvy looks simple and minimal, but there are hundreds of layers of shading and texture in each spread. It was the most challenging book I have completed to date and I’m really happy with the end result.

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Make any outfit an Ogilvy!

I designed some iron-on patches to celebrate the launch of the book. There are still a few left for sale in my shop.

Pick one up here!  

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Thank you so much for reading this little behind-the-scenes look at the making of Ogilvy! 

(Click here to buy your copy now!)

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I couldn't cover everything, but if you have any questions about the process or anything at all please feel to ask!

Tweet at me! Post a comment on Instagram! or Email me! and I will do my best to answer!