Hi everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to check out this new Finch + Foxglove blog post. My name is Vicky Lommatzsch. I'm an illustrator and writer from Ghent (Belgium). Please join me while I guide you through my illustration process on a regular working day... Oh! Wait a minute... There haven't been any 'regular' days since I've become a full time artist. And that's a good thing :-).
Here we go!
One of my clients is a public authority that is responsible for everything that has to do with day-care in Belgium. Every year they organize training days for supervisors. They asked me to design 2 cover illustrations for the information brochures to promote the training days. It had to be covers that are similar, but with some differences according to the two types of target audience: supervisors of babies & toddlers and supervisors of school aged children.
The illustrations you see above, was what I sent them.
However, working with clients means you have to find a balance between the art you make and what your client wants. And when it comes to public authorities, there are a lot of people who review your work, which means: a lot of different opinions.
What followed was a kind email with some feedback. They loved the illustration, but found that a sleeping bear wasn't dynamic enough to promote their training days, which are filled with plenty of activities and workshops. The bear itself was great though. I had to admit, they had a point. They also wanted me to use brighter colors, make the trailer larger and maybe integrate a subtle circus theme.
That's when you read between the lines: keep the bear (an awake one, that is), but give us a different illustration. This is what went through my head: "YIKES!" And then I snuggled up in my studio.
Making it cosy helps!
Next, I took a deep breath, grabbed my pencil and Staedtler pigment liner, and started over with some new, more dynamic bears and added some circus flavour.
Although I often finish up my illustrations in Photoshop, My drawing process always starts on paper. I love it when you can see that the lines are drawn by hand. It kind of partially defines my style, I guess.
Then I scan my line work onto my Mac.
I clean up the scan in Photoshop and play around with the levels, so that the lines are neat and clear and I can start making my composition, add color & texture, and do a bit of shading.
This is how it turned out for the school aged children:
And this is how it turned out for the babies and toddlers:
Kind of cool, right? I reused some of my first icons, enlarged the trailer, added some fresh colors and tadaaaaaah. Hopefully my client will be as happy with these illustrations as I am.
Oh yeah, while I was working on this project, I also:
- Drank a lot of tea
- Fed my cat
- Prepared dinner for my kids
- Started on another client project
- Went to a client meeting
- Mopped the floor
- Took a shower
- Did some grocery shopping
- Forgot to eat
- Took care of my paper work
- Sketched a lot
- Took an online class on pattern making
- Stressed about how late it was already
- Talked on the phone with my publisher
- And had A LOT OF FUN!
I love being an illustrator & a writer, and I hope you had a lovely time reading this blog post. Stay tuned for the next amazing blog post by one of my fellow Finch + Foxglove artists.