Enquiry to End Sample - Costumes of the World Illustrated by Felicity French Sep 20 2018Samples and spotted
Advocate-Art is so proud to show off Felicity French's recently completed book project with Nosy Crow! This exciting activity book, Mother and Daughter Dress-Up Dolls: Costumes From Around the World, takes you on a journey across the world and is perfect for both young and older ages. Felicity's vibrant colour palette, bold patterns and quirky characters bring this book to life, and makes her a fantastic creative illustrator for Children's Book publishing, especially for young readers, aged 0-5. You can also find her designs on greetings cards, stationery, ceramics and wall art!
We did a Q&A with Felicity to find out what it was like working some such a lovely project, and what her process is, keep reading to find out more! If you think Felicity would be great for an upcoming project you have, feel free to get in touch with one of our agents.
1). What are your qualifications when deciding to take on a new project?
There are quite a few factors really, the subject of the project is really important, the style of the illustrations required, how big the project is and how long it will take, and also it has to be financially viable too!
2). When accepting a project, is the subject of the book important to you?
Definitely! It doesn’t have to be the case for all projects, but it certainly helps to get into a project if I find it interesting. I knew straightaway that this would be a project I would love to work on. I’m intrigued about different cultures and their customs, so to get to illustrate costumes from around the world and put my own stamp on the different patterning and designs was really exciting.
3). Once you sign off on a project, and receive the brief, what are your first steps in getting started?
I have a good read of the brief; normally I go through it 2-3 times to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I was sent a lot of picture reference for this book so I studied these and did my own research into costumes too, before then starting on pencil sketches.
4). Do you have a certain method or ritual to the artistic process?
Not so much, but I do set myself goals for the day, and I love to write lists – I’m quite a structured worker I think! I’m not sure my messy desk would reflect this however, as there are normally piles of paper and pens scattered all over the place.
5). What is your studio space like? Are you more of a morning worker or a night owl?
My studio is set up in our spare room. My husband and I both have desks in there so we work together a lot of the time, which is nice. It’s quite a light space and we have pictures all over the walls, generally animal illustrations from various illustrators I like, and movie posters! I’d say I’m more of a morning worker, but that’s probably because my one year old keeps me so busy I’m too tired to be a night owl!
6). What happens when your sketches are approved? How do you go about choosing your colour palette?
All of the artwork for this book was created using Photoshop, so once the sketch was approved I started with a base layer for each outfit and added details on top using various brushes, each costume had lots of layers. Many of the costume reference pictures I was sent had quite specific colour palettes, which made that process quite easy! On the ones that didn’t, I did my own research and created a colour palette that complimented the country’s outfit that I was working on.
7). What is your inspiration?
I’m a big lover of pattern, so it was really lovely to have such a breadth of reference to draw on for this book. Also, to work on so many different countries - Norway and Peru were two of my favourites as I’m especially inspired by Scandinavian and Aztec design.
8). How do you know when your pieces are "done"?
Sometimes it’s difficult to know when a piece is finished, but generally for me it’s when I have completed all of the detail that was in my original sketch and when the colour palette and detail sit just right together. Nosy Crow were brilliant as they could tell if a colour needed tweaking or changing, or some detail needed adding or removing - a fresh set of eyes makes a huge difference.
9). What does it feel like to complete a book?
The best way I can describe it is that it’s like handing in your final project in your final year of university after months of hard work and late nights (where needed!), knowing you’ve done your absolute best and it’s out of your hands, like a weight being lifted I guess! For this project I had mixed emotions, as it was a huge relief to have all of the artwork approved and on it’s way to the printers, but I was also sad to be saying goodbye to it, as it was such a fun project to work on and the team at Nosy Crow are all so lovely to work with and made it so enjoyable! I’m so excited to be working on another one of these books with them.
10) How do you celebrate the completion of a new project!?
With a couple of days off to recharge the batteries! And some wine!
Felicity French was founded by our team of illustration agents, based at our UK and USA agencies. If you think Felicity, or any of our other talented illustrators would be perfect for an upcoming project you have, be sure to reach out to an agent.