HOW IT ALL STARTED...
During August/September 2019 I've started working on the illustrations and character designs for a Christmas children's book by the publisher MY BEST BOOK (German: Mein eigenes Buch).
CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED CHILDREN'S BOOK
The publishing company MY BEST BOOK was founded in Denmark and offers their children's books in lots of different languages such as german, french, belgian, swedish, dutch etc. What makes these books special, is the fact that you're able to personalize them! So basically, MY BEST BOOK has a configurator on their website which lets you design the two characters seen in the book. You will be able to choose a name for the two, choose their skin and hair color as well as the hairstyle. There are also other extras such as an option to write a personal note for the first page, name the parents or add extra character names which will only be visible in the text.
This makes literally the perfect Christmas gift for your children as it is super unique and such a great memory for your beloved kids!
The book is for children between 5 and 9 years and consists of 24 pages.
It's also available in two different sizes: Din A4 and Din A5.
THE CHRISTMAS STORY OF THE BOOK...
This Christmas book is about two young kids and the power of their magical dreams. It's a story about helping each other, achieving goals together and believing in your wishes. Both kids try to create a perfect Christmas Eve together with their magical animal friends, which they've brought to life from handmade stick-figures. Together they are trying to create the most wonderful Christmas Eve for their parents and family.
THE PROCESS OF ILLUSTRATING A CHILDREN'S BOOK
I actually just finished the works on another children's book when MY BEST BOOK contacted me. Time was short as we were already in August and the book needed to be done at the beginning of October. I had my Job as Instructor, Gamescom was coming up and I was going on a vacation to Crete in September. I was really scared I wouldn't make it and I knew it would've been stressful but I totally fell in love with the project and had to do it!
I started by creating rough Character Designs for the children, animals and stick-figures. I created Character Sheets with turnarounds and this helped us finding the right style and I was able to use these designs as reference on every page.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COLORS AND VALUES
Next we had to decide for a color scheme. MY BEST BOOK gave me some really nice references, which made it so much more easy for me to find the right style. They already researched for pictures, colors and moods they liked. First we wanted to go with a darker but yet warm color scheme for the winter wonderland. I used purple, blue and pink- like in a very late sunset, right before the night starts. However, we felt like the scene looked to dark and we didn't wanted the entire book taking place in a night scene.
So we gave it another try. Luckily I only worked with an outlined sketch where I painted the colors very roughly in, so we would be able to test things out super quick. At the end we decided to go with a daylight theme. I used a warm and soft blue value for the snow and sky and as a contrast to the environment, I made the kid's outfits red and orange. This separated them clearly from the background.
Colors and values play a very important role in illustration. They can change the mood and atmosphere completely. I feel like the choices we made gave the environment a feel of a wide and empty landscape, but yet safe, warm and magical. While designing the animal characters, I tried to stay in a similar red and brownish color scheme, so they wouldn't get lost and less visible in the snow. However, I kept the color design of the owl similar to the snow. Adding only a few brownish details to her feathers already helped giving her enough contrast.
I enjoyed working with MY BEST BOOK so much and I'm super excited for working with them again in the future!