This exercise asked to produce a children’s book cover illustration, aimed for kids aged 7/11, title being Animals from around the world.
It was quite a difficult task, considering the huge amount of reference we have on the subject. I started browsing via internet hundreds of different book jackets and I realised how different they can be! I think there are various ways to attract children attention, like using bright colours, distorting reality, using simple and direct images.
But all of this really depends on the age, sex and personality of the kids. I also think that 7/11 is a quite large period, considering how fast kids grow.
In the brainstorming phase one idea came very fast, a group of animals literally positioned around the world. But I discarded it quite soon, because too obvious. I made thumbnails with other ideas which popped in my head and finally I selected three of them an sketched the outlines.
I tried to keep my drawings really simple and I worked in A4 format.
A first sketch sees platypus and elephant one in front of the others, I choose them because I think they inspire curiosity and also because they come from different worlds. from the elephant nose a splash of water comes out allowing the platypus to swim. I used various picture from internet to accurately depict the creatures. In this drawing I kept the animal portraits quite close to reality, thinking that the oldest age range might be more interested in the real anatomy of the animals.
In a second sketch I pictured five different animals (one per continent) piled up in a totem. In this case I distorted the reality and the proportion to adapt each animal in a square shape, imagining each of them was placed in a cube. By doing this I gave them a funny aspect which capture the kids desire of playing, even because they resemble those toys which you can combine as you please.
When it came to colours, I tried using them as freely as possible and I thought that in an eventual final of this pieces would have been nice to use a medium which allows the colours to be smooth, even and bright, like Copic markers or perhaps the digital way.
I really loved to experiment with those book jackets and in the mocking up of the colour visuals I tried to position the text in a funny way and thought that the font should be very graphic as well, perhaps hand drawn and very colourful.