Having always favoured any kind of creative work like photography, writing, and make-up artistry, it’s fair to say I’m quite a visual person. So whilst writing Size HH, I couldn’t help but drift off into day dreams about what kind of images should compliment the text.
I was forever being urged to just focus on the writing and leave the illustrations until a bit later, but I couldn’t help myself and began the hunt for an illustrator quite early on.
It was not easy. I started with good old Google, spending hours admiring the work of artists and narrowing down the styles I liked. I never felt compelled to contact any of them though. It became overwhelming, so I decided to go inwards and ask a very artistic family member if she was up for the challenge. At the time though it was not to be with her other commitments, so just like with finding an Editor, I turned to my social media contacts for recommendations.
Some fantastic artists were introduced to me, but for one reason or another it didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t want people to just work on the book and never be involved again, I wanted everyone involved to have a lasting relationship with us and what the book stood for.
After feeling slightly deflated with myself for having such high expectations, I went back to concentrate on having the book finished. A few weeks later, I was scrolling through my news feed when I noticed one of my friends had posted the new logo for her business and it really caught my eye.
A few clicks later and I was left slack jawed as I browsed through illustrations that were exactly along the lines of what I had imagined for the book. (The law of attraction is fierce). Mercedes Lopez Charro, was relatively new to the illustration world at the time and had just started posting some examples of her work when I discovered it.
My gut feeling told me this was the right person for the job, so I contacted her instantly and we hit it off. Mercedes completely threw herself into the project from the get go and suddenly I had all my zest back again! I immersed myself in writing while Mercedes took care of making the book come alive with illustrations.
From the logo to the book cover and the pages in between, there was no design too big or small for Mercedes. She was genuinely so into her work and excited about seeing me happy with it that the whole experience was fun and exhilarating. It was as if I had someone to take the images from my brain, put them on paper and make them even better!
Now the wheels started moving very fast, the logo meant the website could now be created along with social media pages. A very exciting but nerve-wracking time. What on earth would everyone think of Size HH?
Feedback started pouring in quickly after we unveiled the logo and posted some a couple of sneak peek illustrations online, everyone seemed to embrace the Size Happy & Healthy concept so far, what a relief!
The most important task was still to come for Mercedes – the book cover. We flipped ideas back and forth and came up with various potential designs. Everyone says don’t judge a book by its cover but we all do right? It was probably one of the hardest decisions of the whole book!
After deciding on my favourite design, Mercedes whipped it up into a potential cover and we spent what seemed like an eternity trying to decide whether to have the illustration in colour black and white. We even took a mini poll amongst friends and family to see which one they liked best and it was a close call.
In the end we went for black and white. It looked better with the logo and although the coloured version stood out more in some ways, we wanted to keep it simple. Plus we felt that what the girls were wearing, or the colour of their hair and skin, was not important, as long as they portrayed happy and healthy. It was a hard message to put into an illustration so hands up to Mercedes for doing such a great job.
Thank you for all your feedback so far on the cover and illustrations so far, we still love to hear your comments!
If you would like to see more of Mercedes fabulous artwork, you can connect through social media or the website www.mercedeslopezcharro.com
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!