One question I get asked when I do school visits is how illustrations are made. Does Zoe Mellors just drawing them into the book? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. There are several steps Zoe goes through when creating the gorgeous illustrations in my books. Here’s a preview of how that process goes.
- The sketch: First things first, I send Zoe a copy of the story. I like to give creative freedom, unless there are some specifics I want for certain pages. I have found that giving Zoe creative freedom really lets her shine and create visual masterpieces. Once she has read the story, then she draws up some sketches. I approve them, or we chat about possible changes in certain illustrations.
- The color test: In this stage, we look at the base colors of the illustration. Is it too bright, too dark, or is there a great balance? Just like the sketch phase, I approve this phase, or we discuss possible adjustments such as hair color, skin tone, or background.
- The details (aka the MAGIC touch): The anticipation for me in this stage is astronomical! The feeling of seeing the final illustration NEVER gets old. Each illustration that comes through gets more and more exciting and it’s the best feeling watching the words I write play out in images.Curious about how Zoe gets to this point? Here’s what she said: “I use Adobe Photoshop to create the illustrations, and use a wide variety of weird and exciting brushes that have different effects, which is how I get the textures on my artwork. Some of these are designed to look like fabric, some are designed to behave the same way a paintbrush would. I’ve even created brushed from taking pictures of bricks and leaves (sure I looked like a strange lady in the park that day!)”
Enjoy this time lapse video of Zoe Mellors bringing Super Max to life.
If you’re interested in checking out Zoe’s magnificent work, take a look here : https://www.zoemellorsillustration.com/