Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crafty Chloe!

Crafty Chloe!

This soon-to-be-released picture books is very close to my heart. The process of making it was one of those great collaborations between editor, illustrator and myself that makes me love my job so much. Heather Ross is an incredibly talented artist, perhaps best-known for her fabric design and sewing books and workshops. Chloe was her first picture book, so she asked for a lot of feedback and help along the way.

To get started, Heather asked for galleys, or pages sized to the trim of the book, with (rough) type in place, so she could work around the type. She also took the editor and I up on our offer to throw out ideas for images and types of images (spots, full page, full spreads) to create the best pacing for the book. Here's an example of what we provided:
(the light pink areas mark "danger zones" to be avoided because of proximity to gutter and trim areas, and the grey blobs are shapes suggestion for spot art)

Once we gave her a book full o' these kinds of notes, she sent in sketches, which we then reviewed and sent back with more notes, and then a revised sketch came in, then final's basically a game of hot potato with the work coming closer and closer to finish with each round. Here's a progression of the above spreads:

Chloe's talent for making things:

Chloe's athletic skills:

Somewhere while this is all going on, we start doing the same thing to the cover. Here's the way that progressed, starting with early sketches we bounced around until finding the composition we took to final:

 We took the parts we loved best about all of those, and Heather created this sketch, which would turn into our lovely cover:

And the full wrap-around jacket:

The final book came out beautifully, and will be available in February '12 for purchase (available now for pre-order)! And what's even better? Work has begun on Crafty Chloe 2, so stay tuned for the sequel!


  1. What a fantastic post!! It is so enlightening to see how this process works and how collaborative it is! :)

  2. Thank you for posting this. It is fun to see how the artist interprets the words. What a great tutorial on how to develop a picture book!

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  4. So informative and so inspiring! Thanks Lauren, for posting this. It's a daunting process and makes me appreciate how much goes into taking a book to completion!