Featured Publication on Finders Keepers

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The Finders Keepers have just published a lovely feature about my new book Hello, Australia!, over on their blog now! It’s a bit of a behind-the-scenes peek into the process of book making, and just how long some of the work takes me to do!

Read the excerpt below, and head the The Finders Keepers blog to see the feature in full!

I’ll be in Melbourne in October for the Spring Summer 18 event with our new ‘Land of the Rainbow Gold’ collection, so come on down and get your hands on a signed copy of Hello, Australia! and chat to me about all things Australiana!

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GIVEN THE INTRICACY OF YOUR DRAWINGS, WE IMAGINE IT’S A LOT OF WORK TO MAKE A BOOK AS DETAILED AS HELLO, AUSTRALIA! HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?

The book making process is a BIG one, and while I’ve never added up all the hours that go into it, it does take a solid few calendar months to bring it to life. I plan out the illustrations alongside working on the manuscript, so that all of the research I’m doing for the writing can get explored further in the illustrations (there are lots of hidden elements in the illustrations that I just didn’t have room to write about in the text!).

I choose a colour palette quite early on in the process, and always keep that in mind when I’m drawing in all the different pieces, to try and avoid the same colours overlapping in an illustration.

All of the illustrated spreads in Hello, Australia! were done in one big piece, on an A2 sheet of paper in black ink — this typically takes me around 4-5 hours for these detailed illustrations to draw up. Once this part is finished, I work digitally to colour (a process that usually takes around 15+ hours)… and then check how the flow of the colours and spreads are all working together as they go into the book layout. It’s certainly not a quick process, but I work in very solid, intense blocks for days at a time (while watching something trashy on Netflix, of course) — so I often get to the end of the colouring and it feels like magic that it’s suddenly finished!
Megan McKeanComment