As most illustrators, I am always on the look out for books that will show me something new and thought it would be a good idea to share my findings and my top books. Please feel free to make your own suggestions and share in the comments.
I have just discovered this world of movie books. Why aren’t more people talking about this in the illustrating industry? After stumbling a blog post on a review of another “art of <insert any amazing animation movie>” I quickly started searching to see what was out there. You know what I found? A lot. My wishlist on Readers Warehouse just skyrocket back up to 22 (only because they don’t stock the others books… and there are a lot).
Out of the top movies I really enjoyed the style, The Croods were listed as one of the best Art Books to invest in. There is art on every page of this book – and it is colourful, detailed and the compositions are amazing. I really learnt a lot from this book in terms of style and inspiration. There are also several pages that ‘flap out’ to reveal 4 page spreads of beauty.
As some of you know, I really enjoy the animal/creature side of things, and this book had some great mash-ups and styles. The movie had a few amount as well, but this book has everything that they couldn’t fit in the movie, including a zebra elephant, a Dodo rat, Quail frog and ostrich turtle. Who comes up with this stuff? Read more
Celeste: Hi John! Thank so much for chatting with us today! I just love your Beasty Pirates book and I am so excited I can pick your brain for a bit. First of all, can you tell my readers a little about yourself?
John: Hi Celeste, So glad you like the Beastly Pirates, especially as there’s another one coming this summer. It’s called ‘Munch, Crunch, Pirate Lunch!’ And tells the tale of Heartless Bart, the pirate leader, who is exceptionally annoyed that the Beastly Pirates have eaten all of his pirates and sets out on a dastardly plan of revenge.
Well, I’ve worked in publishing, firstly as a designer, since 1990. Most of that was in children’s reference non-fiction. I found out very quickly that as I was a designer who could draw I naturally gravitated towards doing books about explaining things. My niche was deconstructing technology, buildings, animals, maps, and films. I’ve always been interested in taking things apart and putting them back together again to show how they worked.
But I’ve also worked in licensing, doing books about Star Wars and Pixar for a company called Dorling Kindersley.
So I spent a big chunk of my career drawing things for other people to then illustrate. I never considered my own drawings to be artwork or illustration as such. They were always just the ‘blueprints’ for a ‘proper’ illustrator to come in and finish off properly.
Over the years I did illustrate some books, but in the early 2000’s (long story) I ended up getting involved in children’s fiction. The rest, they say, is history. Read more
A lot of people like to use the excuse that they don’t have the resources to start great art projects. They don’t have the paints, the portfolio bag, the mannequin, etc. Well, you might remember me blogging about how I attended a workshop recently where we painted with coffee? It seems this isn’t a unique thing. There are artists out there who just use coffee to do amazing illustrations. Which means that if you are one of those who look at paper and say ‘well I would paint, but I don’t have those expensive Windsor paints yet, then I say forget about the paints, make yourself a cup of coffee and get inspired.