People keep asking us "Who is the artist?" or "Which one of you did the paintings?" for our upcoming kids book.
This always makes us smile and pause because it's weird but
WE ARE ACTUALLY BOTH THE ARTISTS!!!!
Process and Background
You see, Kuki is a formally trained artist with a life long passion for fine arts including performance and ceramics. She studied art at both College and University for over five years. I have been experimenting by taking classes and dabbling, doodling and trial and error for as long as I can remember. So, we are both "artists", and are both capable of rendering images, drawing and painting from observation etc.
For our book, we each did a mini template on folded bond paper of how we thought the book should be laid out. We looked at them objectively, allowing the best design to win. This wasn't challenging for us because we have this incredible respect and trust for each other. Our feelings don't get hurt if our design isn't chosen as our common goal is to make books that are as beautiful and engaging as possible. In a number of the panels, we truly collaborate. When one of us does the drawing, the other does the painting. Sometimes one of us does the drawing and painting and leaves the final ink details to be applied by the other. It all depends on the scene, our unique skills, the inspiration and the mood that day.
The first step is to create illustrations that correspond with and reflect the story itself. We made story boards beginning with pencil sketches followed by light washes of colored pencil, gradually getting more saturated, adding water and paint as we felt more satisfied with the designs. We wanted to keep our characters tight and consistent so we were considerate of palette and tone throughout.
Fortunately, we have a similar aesthetic and both have high standards. Although, Kuki is definitely the more harsh critic and insists on tighter illustrations and compositions. I am the free spirit, I can render images that are more fluid. These styles compliment one another and help us to create illustrations for our book that reflect not only our story and its message but also is a reflection of us as individuals and as a couple.
We use 300lb 100% cotton watercolour paper, H or F pencils, Faber Castell Artist watercolour pencils, gouache, watercolour and Pigma Micron Graphic markers.
We created this edition of our book in 6 months. This is all we can say for now. Future books may take much longer or may be done by the end of the summer. The Creative process can have a mind of its own and we respect that!
We can't wait to show you more!
For now, we have included some images taken as we worked on this book from our home studio / living room floor