Eggs! Car seats! Huh?

I know, I’m baaaad to the bone. I haven’t been blogging on any kind of regular basis, but I am back. Thanks to the energy infusion of my writer friends who all insist that someone out there will read me if I keep at it. So I’ll post at least once a week. At least!

Today I got great news. If I were really corny, I’d say it was eggciting news, but I’m not so I won’t.

My husband Jerry wrote a manuscript for a picture book, which I’m illustrating. It’s being pubbed by S&S (McElderry!!) and our editor is the fab-u Gretchen Hirsch, who actually came up with the title, Little Chicken’s Big Day. We’re very lucky bc we are working with a talented designer, Deb Sfetfios. Little Chicken (LC) needs to be in a car seat on one page, and Deb suggested it be an egg. But I thought it still needed to read “car seat”! We ended up going back and forth for what felt like forEVER and I did well over 30 iterations. Amazing how one simple object could be so hard!

Do you know why it was so hard? I’d love to know if your theory is the same as mine! Here are some of the designs, in chronological order. The second bw image is the one from the submitted dummy. The last one is the final illo.

Recent Comments

  • Lizann Flatt
    December 11, 2009 - 7:40 am · Reply

    Fascinating to see the transformation! I have no idea why it might be so difficult. Please tell your theory!

    Illustratorly challenged,

  • Katie Davis
    December 11, 2009 - 7:50 am · Reply

    Thanks for commenting, Lizann!

    An egg is a perfect shape, and spherical. But I needed a car seat for a toddler (LC is about 3 or 4 years-old – I keep seeing little kids on the subway or out and about and I'll whisper to my husband, "S/he's Little Chicken, right?" It's fun.) ANYWAY, this book is so simple, and the only color is on LC, his mom (big Chicken) and another character whom I won't reveal yet! So I couldn't use shading to make the egg look 3-D, and the image above that does look 3-D is too sophisticated for the book (yes, it's THAT simple!)

    So the challenge was to make the image instantly recognizable as both an egg AND a car seat, yet not use any coloring, and make sure it balanced with the rest of this very simple, spare book.

    More than you wanted to know, perhaps?!!

  • Lizann Flatt
    December 11, 2009 - 1:24 pm · Reply

    Oh, cool! That makes total sense. Now I can look at the images again and see exactly what you mean. I love learning this type of creative behind the scenes stuff. Thanks for sharing, Katie.

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