Left-to-right: Becoming Butterflies, Planes, Our Stars, My Spring Robin, Whoo! Whoo! Goes the Train, My Preschool
10. Would you share some of your own process with us? And what’s coming up for you?
Joy Chu: Here are selected pages from the book dummy for My Preschool, followed by pages from the final book. Your grand-daughter assisted you with creating the artwork, yes?
Note that the above sketch is the mirror-image version of the final result below.
[Anne: This is the drawing that's transferred onto mylar, via your monoprint process, yes?—JC]
Here are images from the book dummy for Whoo! Whoo! Goes the Train. Anne provided the drawings, which were colorized by Vanessa van der Baan.
Anne Rockwell: Vanessa and I are working on a similar book about the local police station called Vroom! Vroom! Go the Police. Vanessa is illustrating all by herself–a first. But she’s been an animator at Cartoon Network ever since she finished college at NYU film school.
Vanessa van deer Baan: It has definitely been an interesting transition from the animation world into the world of children’s books.
I have really enjoyed seeing through the process and how it differs. It’s much more fun to have your artwork seen for more than a millisecond and it allows me to spend more time focusing on detail.It’s also more rewarding to have something tangible in the end!
Creating the dummy for the first time was also a challenging process. It is a lot like story boarding for animation but you also have a lot less of a moment to tell the story in than with animation. One image must relay a large chunk of the story.
I’ve really enjoyed the challenge working on this new book and I can’t wait to see how it turns out once all the color is in place!
Joy Chu: And here is Vanessa’s muse for creating her VROOM VROOM images:
According to the copyright page, the illustrations were “…first painted in watercolor on Passion watercolor paper, then individuallly cut out and glued in layers to create a three-dimensional piece of art.”
Since three-dimensional art cannot be shot on a scanner, the art must be shot by a photographer, either digitally or via transparencies.
It also appears that the background texture of the watercolor paper itself — not just of the subjects themselves, but the backgrounds they are adhered to — was included as part of the art, as seen with the white space on the title page.
This presents a new set of issues to address. By its very nature, the quality of the photograph is dependent upon the lighting of the artwork and the skill of the photographer.
The colors in the resulting photograph, or scan, will invariably change between the original paint color and what the camera perceives.
And then there are the shadows. How harsh or soft will they be in the resulting photoscan? Will they detract or enhance the art? And what about inadvertent unwanted shadows from neighboring elements?
Of course, the goal is to have the photo or scan match the original art as closely as humanly possible.
Ultimately, the end results must be approved by the artist, editor, art director, and the book printer.