Digital Book illustration versus traditional methods

I have to say I have a soft spot for traditional illustration methods. When I published my first children’s book on kindle a while ago now, I had great fun plotting the illustrations and painstakingly creating them in watercolour. I love the finished effect and was very grateful to friends in the teaching profession for giving the book a trial run prior to publishing.

The Alternative Tale of The Three Little Pigs is available as an e-book on Amazon 🙂

However, because it was my first solo foray into writing, illustrating and self publishing, I hadn’t quite thought through what exact size my illustrations needed to be, what format they would need to be in for creating the real touchy-feely hold in your hands book. In order to reformat my illustrations to the correct size to self-publish through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) I would need to start again to get it absolutely right.

So here comes the beauty of digital illustration. I uploaded all of my original art work and I can now edit and tweak and reformat to my hearts content to get it book ready. So watch this space.

Going forward two things have made me more of a fan of digital illustrations. The first is that through my experience I can see how much easier it is to edit the images and tweak things for a client without having to go massively over budget and also saving lots of time.

The second is that it’s so incredibly portable. I can take my iPad with me wherever I go (and I do). I can quickly sketch out plans and ideas for clients and share my portfolio of work and my process. I can tweak things and move things around with ease and upload templates directly into my design software to ensure everything is to the correct dimensions for going to print. And frankly, I love digital illustrations and it is definitely possible to still get those painterly effects.

My most recent published illustration work was for a project very close to my heart. An anthology of poetry written by survivors of narcissistic abuse for survivors. Edited by Dr Sally Olewe-Richards, the book helps survivors re-write their stories, from heartbreak to hope and healing.

The cover artwork for this amazing book was created digitally to sit alongside a wonderful poem, and the title of the book, ‘My red quilt’. The poem shares how she took all the red flags of the relationship and made herself a quilt stitched with threads of pain and tears, eventually feeling powerful enough to rise again, lessons learned.

A powerful and emotional read.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before every commission starts with a good conversation. If you would like to know more about commissioning illustrations please get in touch. Next week, I will share what to expect from start to finish when you request a commission, whether that be oil on canvas or digital illustration or even a mural.

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