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The Wonderful Life of Basil & Olive

In this project, I worked with my client to help him bring his children's story to life with vivid and playful illustrations. This is is the first of a series of books written by Adonis Cole, which introduces Basil, the Mouse and Olive, the mole. The story highlights the importance of friendship and inclusivity in a fun way with brightly coloured illustrations and playful limericks that tell the story. The final book comprised of several full bleed single page illustrations and one double page full bleed illustration.

The client gave me full creative freedom to interpret the text and come up with ideas. Letting my imagination flow freely and collaborating closely with Adonis to fine-tune the results was very rewarding and allowed for highly creative outputs. In addition to creating the illustrations, I also designed the graphical layout of the text within the book and prepared the documents so that they were ready for print publishing in Adobe InDesign.

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After going through the text with Adonis and understanding his intentions for the book, I once again collated a series of images into a mood board which was to be used as inspiration for the scene and feel of the book. I then began creating a series of sketches exploring the character design of Basil and Olive.
The images below depict some of these early concept explorations.


Once the character directions were selected, I then created a series of sketches exploring how we might go about illustrating the front cover and various sections of the text within the book (see examples below). These initial concept sketches allowed me to clearly communicate my ideas with Adonis. This also gave him a good opportunity to give feedback and let me know if the illustrations were capturing his intentions correctly. 


The concept sketches were then refined into detailed line sketches and I then created a variety of quick studies exploring potential colour pallets for each illustrated page. 


Finally, once the colour pallets were selected, I used the refined line sketches and colour studies as reference when creating the final artworks for each illustrated page. Below are a few illustrations created for the finished book. 

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Stage 3 illustration 2.jpg
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Stage 4 - illustration 7.jpg
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Olivia Chevallier © Copyright
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