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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Fun Fact - Sometime in 2014 my computer crashed (including all my backups). I lost all the original bunny art files – the only images I had left were from my website. So the first thing I had to do when I got the manuscript in late 2017 was to go into my closet and take pictures of every sweater I had. Then I put them into Photoshop to design the color and texture for each bunny.
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 of scribbles.
2/7 This is the more refined colored sketch I turned in during the rough draft phase.
3/7 This was my first attempt at a final spread. I felt good about it at first, and then I slowly started not liking it at all. Character proportions were all wrong and things were too sloppy. I needed to rethink how I was going to do this book.
4/7 I ended up refining my illustration process to make this book work. I would have to make a full black and white drawing like this whenever I began the final artwork.
5/7 This is the second step in the final art process. After I finished all the line work and shading, I would move on to adding all the sweater textures and more shading and the background colors.
6/7 The third step in in the final art process was all the tiny details. Putting color in the cheeks, adding additional textures, drawing tiny works of art and dulling all the dark black line work to a more mild grey.
7/7 I had to make some final tweaks but this is the final art that ended up in the book! Ogilvy was the most technically challenging illustrations I have ever done. It is deceivingly simple, but there are hundreds of shading and texture layers on each spread. Everything in this books took three times longer than I thought it would, but it was definitely worth the extra effort and I’m really happy with the end result.
Make any outfit an Ogilvy!
I designed some iron-on patches s to celebrate the launch of the book. There are still a few left for sale in my shop.
Thank you so much for reading this little behind-the-scenes look at the making of Ogilvy!