I’m going to take a day a week and talk about older books I have worked on.
The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot, written by Margaret McNamara, was the second ‘real’ picture book I illustrated and it’s still one of my favorites.
The art director on the project gave me great advice: loosen up and have fun. The first drawings I did were much tighter, more refined and looked like TV animation development.
Once I realized I could concentrate on making a great image, I worried less about the structure of characters and just made them work on the page.
I get some flak on this book because some have said that I copied the Minions from the film franchise. I wish that was true, it would be easier to explain. But the truth is I had done a final revised dummy of the book, designed all the characters and decided on an alien like green-yellow color, received approval and had started painting the finals before I saw the first trailer for Despicable Me. Or at least the first trailer with minions in it. I freaked out and wrote the art director concerned that I would need to redesign everything. But we were well into the book and after all, the actual look is fairly common place and generic. And the book characters were little kids, so it was decided to continue.
You can check out some large samples art from the book as well las some earlier version of the art on my website.
I recently received some exciting news about this book that I will talk about later this winter.