Friday, November 23, 2012

Billie B Brown: Big Book of Billie 2

Big Book of Billie 2 is out in the Billie B Brown series!

Written by the wonderful Sally Rippin and published by Hardie Grant Egmont, this mammoth book features 12 stories from the Billie B Brown series. Sally has written more about which exact stories are featured in this book, check out her blog post here.

I went through a number of roughs for this cover. Since it is the special second Big Book of Billie I wanted Billie to look gorgeous as Billie can be!

I thought I would go literal and played around with Billie and "BIG Book" ideas.

Then I thought I should try making the Book a bit more manageable size. I didn't want the BIG Book to take over the whole cover space, I still wanted Billie to be the dominant subject on the cover.
I was also conscious of Billie's outfit; she can't be wearing something too seasonal. Also I always want to mix girly and feisty in her wardrobe.

I actually liked how these two were looking. The Book was big enough and Billie had total control over it :)
I could have sent these 5 roughs off to the editor but I thought I would do another rough with Billie in her usual classic cover style.

Then I sent the 6 roughs away and hoped that the editor will choose the one I secretly like the most. But I have learnt not to get tooo attached to any specific piece and I don't try selling any specific piece to the editor either. Karri, the wonderful Billie B Brown editor is great, she knows what she's talking about. It is her job to create books with great contents and marketable. I have so much respect for her and I trust her decisions.
She chose the classic Billie! I put away my "Big Book" ideas and colour up the chosen illustration. Here she is! 

With some more tweaks with the colour palette the final cover is approved! Below is the promotional piece for the book!

More exciting news. Sally made an announcement on my Facebook Page!

"Congratulations to Aki for all the beautiful Billie illustrations she has done over the last three years. Today we just found out Billie B Brown The Big Sister won the 2012 Kroc Awards for best children's book. It also won the 2012 Family Therapist's Award and books in the series have been shortlisted for various other awards too. Thank you to Aki for bringing Billie alive and for all your hard work. I'm so lucky to have you as my illustrator."

What can I say, I am just so happy that I get to illustrate the Billie books. I am so lucky, I get to read Sally's stories before all the other girls! Such a privilege. Thank you :D

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