Stages of work on the book

Artist. Illustrator. It sounds romantic. However, more often the creation of illustrations is the final step following after more pragmatic and laborious stages. The illustrator is both an artist and a director, and sometimes the author of a book in book publishing.

In this article, I will talk about the stages of creating a book on the example of «Summer without Beret».

Primarily, I determined the type area. Everyone has their own ways for that. I cut out 2 pages of paper and glue the broadside. I draw by sight an area where the text will be, and then I move it, reduce it or increase it. And the main thing at this moment is peeking and intuition. The more you interact with good, high-quality publications, the better you understand the organization of the text in the book. Jan Chihold in his “Guide…” gives clues on the construction of the type area. His formula can be used as a starting point, and then knowledge, experience, and personal sensations should interfere. For the first stage, it would be enough to determine the type area. In the course of the work on the book, it can be adjusted.

Then I created a document in the desired format in the program of InDesign and “scattered” the text. It turned out 56 pages. Now I understood on what turn each poem was, and therefore, could proceed to the storyboard. In parallel, I was engaged in the development of characters. I have to say that I did not make illustrations for such a young audience (the book is labeled 0+), so I had to think from scratch a visual language and plastic that were interesting and understandable to the young reader, and also complying with the content and mood of the poems. K. Strelnikova, the author of the book, has light and mischievous style. I wanted to make similar illustrations, so I decided that they should be simple, airy and on a white background. I selected the bright and rich palette.

Work on the storyboard is one of the important and responsible stages. Here the artist acts as a director: he considers the dynamics of the book and the composition of the turns. This is a complex and fascinating process. If we are talking about single narrative, as in the novel, then in the storyboard, you  may highlight culmination by tone and/or color, and also direct the visual narrative in such a way as to bring the reader to important conceptual issues.

In my case, the storyboard looked like this.

The first sheet is a foretitle, followed by masthead, a title, page with illustration, fresh page, and then the main text. And finally – the content and imprint. Each section (in the book there are three) I began with the a fresh page.

The sketches of animals were approved immediately, but I had to tinker with the kids` drawings We chose the last of the two final options.

And only after that it was possible to start working on illustrations. When they were ready, I handed over the originals to the publishing house and had started to work with the cover.

The result is this book.

As you can see, the role of the artist is great and is not only limited to drawing. I hope you pick up something new for yourself. You can always ask me questions via the feedback form or via email kristya_b@mail.ru

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