Category: kids illustration

Posts Tagged ‘kids illustration’

A Farmyard Tale


After 20 years of working as a commercial illustrator, the most common thing I have been commissioned to do, is various kinds of farm yard animals in varying styles: from computer 3D, to watercolour, to mixed media. Thats closely followed by jungle themes, sea creatures, pirates and princesses!……….it does make me reflect that this really is quite a dreamy job – I get to be a kid every day!

My latest children’s book was no exception. Based on the concept that I had done for this particular publisher the previous year, the book was a leprello – an accordion fold. In this case, it was 12 pages long, printed double sided – 24 pages in total. The brief was really very open, I didn’t even have any text to follow(mainly because it was for a French publisher, so I could easily have misinterpreted it)!………just a short suggestion of what could appear in the story. The internal spreads focused on the activities you might find going on indoors on a farm: milking, making cheese, mending machinery, pressing apples etc. The content of the external spreads concentrated on scenes outside: the duck pond, pig stye, harvesting, vegetable patch etc. Unlike briefs from educational publishers which are very prescriptive, this picture book allowed me the freedom to indulge in creating some humorous scenarios, which always makes the process more fun and the final product is a truer expression of you as an illustrator.

As with all children’s books, I will have to wait for some time to see the finished product – probably a year – can’t wait! I made an attempt to video the process of creating one section of illustration – done over roughly 8 hrs, it was a 1 gig file! So I have done some brutal editing and cut it down to 3 mins!

Kids Illustration EURO 2012 stickers

I have a German publishing client for whom I have created children’s illustrations for several ranges of stickers that appear on the front of their weekly magazines. Theses stickers are normally seasonally themed and take the form of digital 2D illustrations with a strong key line, colour in fill and some shading to give the characters form.

Children's illustration stickers EURO 2012


The most recent set of stickers however, have been executed in digital 3D, focusing on the EURO 2012 football Cup. The brief was to create friendly generic characters based on the official tournament football. They had to appeal to children, even thought the TV listings magazine was aimed at adults. The publishers were trying to increase sales using ‘pester-power’ from the kids shopping with their parents.

Using colours/costumes and icons that personified particular countries, these kid’s illustrations represented the individual nations competing within the tournament. The client was quite prescriptive with what they considered epitomized each country. Spain had to be a bullfighter, Denmark a Viking and England a Policeman. So our red and white flag waving football character ended up with a policeman’s helmet on! Naturally, being a German magazine, the client wanted the German football character holding up the trophy as the tournament winner! They also wanted him to be scoring a goal against Portugal, with Ronaldo taking on the role of the unfortunate goalkeeper.

These were fun to do – my kids are especially excited about receiving the sample stickers…which will probably more exciting than England’s performance!

Children's illustration EURO 2012 stickers