A few months ago, I had the privilege of being commissioned by writer and author Emilie-Noelle Provost to illustrate the front cover of her new children’s book, The Blue Bottle. I did a post about this on my old blog but thought I’d write about it again since I’ve had to start my website from scratch again.
The Blue Bottle is a novel for middle grade children, from around the ages of 8-14, which really appealed to me as I have an eight year old daughter. It is an adventure story about a 13 year old girl and her summer adventures, involving a mermaid and a magical blue bottle. Emilie asked me to draw a mermaid and also a blue watercolour wash for the back cover.
Getting a commission is very nerve wracking but exciting. Most of the time, I draw or paint what comes to mind with not too much pressure but when someone asks you to create something for them, its so different! You want to get it just right and hope that your idea matches their idea and it takes time to get it just right. I know that everyone will do it differently but here’s my process for doing a commission.
I made sure that I had the right idea about what the author was looking for by reading through the description and manuscript that I’d been sent and sent a description of what I was going to create to make sure that we were on the same track. I spent a lot of time just sketching and painting mermaids, to get the feeling right until I had a character that I was happy with. I then created a draft piece complete with colour to send to the author, confirmed any changes and then completed the final piece.
It was a most enjoyable commission, as a mother, I love children’s books and especially the illustrations. I’d love one day to write and illustrate my own children’s book so this commission was such a dream come true.
You can find out more about Emilie-Noelle Provost and her work here: https://emilienoelleprovost.com/
And the website for North Country Press: http://www.northcountrypress.com/the-blue-bottle.html
My thanks and gratitude to Emilie for asking me to illustrate her book and I wish her all the very best for the future.