Friday, April 27, 2012


It's not published until August 27th but I've recently finished the cover for the new collection of Grimm's fairy tales, with illustrations by Quentin Blake, Axel Scheffler, Oliver Jeffers, Helen Oxenbury and Raymond Briggs. The artwork's A2, and I did it twice!

This was an interesting one. If you look at my original artwork next to the final, you'll see the finished version was altered substantially. The printing process (it's all gold and silver foil) wasn't up to capturing all the fine lines, so they've been fattened. That's OK. But you'll notice my animals some of the carriage have been solidified. I don't like what's happened to the skull. My gingerbread boy and girl and owl were removed too, along with my lovely turnips and most of the thorny parts - the darker, more aggressive parts which felt essential to the piece. I'm disappointed, but am in the process of questioning whether I should be - I'm finding that more and more artwork is changed once it's in the hands of the design team, and I'll be honest, it makes me uncomfortable. It might, like other tales elsewhere on this blog about the difficulties sometimes experienced by a working illustrator, become the subject of a blog in its own right, since it is happening more and more.

In the meantime though, if you like lots of leaves, foil and the stories themselves of course, this will be a pretty, sparkly read with beautiful illustrations inside. I can't help wondering whether those are quite the right adjectives for the stories of the Brothers Grimm, though...

Order the book here.


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