Updated: Feb 13, 2022
Hello friends! I want to thank you for taking the time to visit my website and celebrate
LISTEN UP, LOUELLA!!!
This is my debut author/illustrator picture book that's due to release from Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) on June 21st, 2022! Here is a bit about Louella as well as a few behind the scenes details from the book making process.
Louella is VERY excited to be at Roar Scout Camp. There's so many fun things for her to do! But Louella is so busy having fun that she doesn't stop to listen to anyone else... Or to realize that maybe her new friends aren't having quite as much fun as she is. When Louella misses an important invitation, it's up to Tarantula and the rest of their friends to help Louella learn to listen and play together.
So now that you’ve learned all about her…drumroll, please!!!
Available for pre-order!
Character development: Where to begin? With sketches! Below you'll see some original elephant sketches from the development stage. I was working to find the perfect Louella. This part of the book making process is one of my favorites because it happens at the very beginning. It's like starting with episode one of a show that has eight whole seasons to binge watch! There is so much to look forward to, so you want to make sure your character is perfected and ready to go on the adventure you create for it.
Narrative: Oftentimes, a character sketch will spark a story idea. I'm a visual person, so I try to visualize what situations my character could get into. Once I've drawn my character so many times that we're old friends, I start to string together spot illustrations that make sense in a narrative structure. I don't know if that makes sense, but that seems to be how my brain works!
From Sketches to Finals! I was thrilled to work with the amazing team at Feiwel & Friends again. It was a wonderful learning experience as they continued to push me to be my best. The opening spread in LISTEN UP, LOUELLA is extremely important. It's the first spread of my first author/illustrator picture book…that’s a big deal! I went through three rounds of sketches on this one and thanks to the team, we ended up with something that starts the story with a BANG! Yes!
One of my favorite spreads to work on was the scene in which Louella attempts to canoe with the cranes. When I first began working on this book, I wanted to push my compositions. Sometimes it's really easy to edit yourself in your head before you even touch pencil to paper. I do that a lot. This time, I chose to go for it and push those editing thoughts away! I drew beyond what I initially thought was enough and tried to add more movement, more angles, and more interesting elements to keep viewers interested and coming back for more! You can see the progression this spread went through from initial sketch to final.
In closing, I want to thank you for spending some time with Louella. I am SO excited for her to make her debut in 2022! This book is a dream come true and I feel extremely blessed to be able to do what I love. Cheers, my friends!