Sunday, 3 February 2013

"It's not easy to make a book..."

In my second post, I want to explain about the process of creating my story for the previously introduced collaborative book "Two" (read my first post, if you have no clue about it).

I'm not gonna lie here saying that half of the semester at the art academy was spent looking for the "right" story. And when I finally settled down with one, I had only a night left to make a rough draft and present it at the midterm review. What a relief!

So how did my story come to life? With an advice from my instructor, I've looked through hundreds of children's books at a public library to see the tendencies and what to avoid in mine. It naturally came out as a dialogue between twins who are creating a book together as they are speaking to each other. The text changed over time as I played with typography but the idea remained the same. The typeface was chosen to match each character's contrasting personality. I tried to use as few words as possible and find the balance between text and drawings.

Here are some examples to show my progression from the very rough beginning to the finalized illustrations. Note the emphasized contrast between the two characters and the use of text.

I built my spreads using InDesign and arranging different layers on top of each other. Below you can compare three versions for the fight spread which was probably the hardest to make. The fight gets intense! 

The drawings I mixed in the spread above

Oh no! What a mess...


You never know what might happen when twins are collaborating...

Not gonna reveal the whole story yet, but I hope you've enjoyed it so far. The overall play of text and picture was inspired by many different artists including Paul Rand, Vladimir Radunsky, Sara Fanelli and, most notably, the ingenious books of Lane Smith. Do check those out if you ever stumble upon them, especially his extraordinary books with Jon Scieszka.

 A quick interview with Lane Smith and his wife Molly Leach, a talented book designer


Lane Smith also did a nice blog post about the creation of one of his most popular books "It's a Book". It features two characters talking to each other about a book (a weird coinsidence?).

Another book, that I just remembered and which caught my attention while visiting a bookshop in Providence, US, was "I'll Save You Bobo!" by Eileen & Marc Rosenthal. I was reading that book like a kid eating a candy. Absolutely charming. The main character decides to create his own book together with his best friend after reading a boring one (sounds familiar, again). You can learn about it on this blog.

That's it for today, time to take a break. Please come back tomorrow to see how the collaborative book "Two" looked when it was all finished. Thanks for reading.

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