A few months after my first trip to the Bologna Children’s book fair back in 2018 I received an email from a Chinese publisher that saw my work there.
They were interested in making a collection of sound board books for children between the ages of 0-3 and thought my style could be a good fit for what they wanted.
The collection consisted of 4 sound books (Nature, Daily Life, Different Materials and Musical Instruments). Each book was made up of 6 spreads and in each spread we were going to portray a different animal.
We agreed on making an illustration test before signing a contract.
I was asked to draw a cute little bear playing with sand on a beach (there might be sandcastle and blue sea).
And this was my response to it:
I wasn’t sure if we needed to have a more colourful scene so I asked them their opinion. The feedback was mostly positive but they did ask me to give the character a bit more personality and add more details.
That’s when I came up with the pirate bear hat which ended up being one of my favourite details of the book.
After we were happy with the sample I started working on the sketches.
It goes without saying but sending the sketches to the client is always a good idea as this is the best time to change things in the composition of the illustration before you go any further.
For example in this case I drew a tiger sleeping on a tree.
But I didn’t know that there’s a saying in China about how cats never teach tigers how to climb trees.
So that was something that needed changing.
Next it was time to start the coloring process!
When I finished colouring I was really happy with the result but still pretty nervous to receive the feedback. What if they didn’t like it as much as I did?
But the feedback was great. Honestly better than I expected. I don’t think I ever got so little changes to make in a project this big!
After my part of the work was done and I delivered the final files the waiting started.
For me the worst thing about publishing is how long it takes for the finished for the book to be published after I finish illustrating.
I know there’s a lot more to the process but whenever I’m done I’m so excited I just want to see the finished result!
But that only came a few months later and it was the best! Definitely worth the wait.