Yesterday I left the Crow’s Nest and headed west to Cardiff for a meeting with the lovely Rebecca Harry, illustrator of Snow Bunny’s Christmas Wish, to discuss her artwork for next year’s Little Bear’s Love, written by David Bedford.
It might seem like a lot of travelling for a couple of hours of art direction, but so much can be gained from a one-to-one session. We spread out all her artwork and drawings, so we could look at it as a whole. We drew on tracing paper – well, Rebecca drew and I sketched (badly). We discussed colour, foliage, foil, fur and bears’ paws, bouncing ideas back and forth.
There is something to be said about visiting illustrators in their home or studio enviroment. They tend to be much more relaxed, and I get to see the visual bits and pieces that they surround themselves with. Sometimes you may spot something with could be brought into the artwork – a colour, or that tiny sketch on the notice board or fridge door.
Most importantly it strengthens your personal relationship, and as I have said before, making happy books is all about happy relationships. Rebecca said that for her, it’s just lovely to talk about her artwork with someone, rather than working in relative isolation, painting and then handing the work in through the post.
And to top it all, Rebecca baked the most wonderful cup cakes. . . love those cup cake cases!