Another pic from the Elephant book. This one illustrates the case of an elephant who strayed into the streets of Nairobi, only to be darted and then carted back to the bush. The text was placed over the blank spaces in the composition, on the building and the sky.
This particular illustration was done in a looser style than most of the others, as part of a final push to add some EXTRA art to the book. After I had completed the initial commitment of illustrations, the editor and book designer both felt that there was an imbalance of text to images, as some page-spreads were still lacking illustrations. So, I agreed to do more, but I couldn’t have as much time as I’d devoted to the illustrations already done.
Thankfully, the book already displayed a variety of styles, so a few more done in a faster, looser style wouldn’t stand out too much. I found some of the thumbnails and preparatory sketches I had done early in the project and slapped colour and textures on them to bang out 16 new illustrations in the last few weeks before the printing deadline. I amazed myself at how many I was able to do in that short time, while having fun doing them.
All in all, I did around 60 illustrations for the book, although some were not much more than decorative wall-paper to go under text. Even though they aren’t all “winners” I learned something in doing each of them, and I am actually very happy with quite a few.
I have submitted 5 of my favourite illustrations from Elephants in the News to the Society of Illustrators 50th Annual Show, in the BOOK category. It is the first time I have entered anything like this. The best illustrators in the world will be in competition, so I don’t seriously expect to win anything, but I do hope that at least ONE of my illustrations might be selected for the show in March 2008, which would be an excellent excuse to visit New York.