Illustrations for a Chinese education picture book series

Launched just a few days ago at the Singapore Children's Book Festival, here are two picture books that I was keeping me very busy almost 2 years ago, around the time my son was born. Yes that was challenging. Imagine me drawing on my iPad outside a Pediatrician's clinic! This took 2-3 months to complete.

These were commissioned and put together by Child Ed and are part of a series of books in a set. One was about a stranger who asked to borrow a handphone from a kid and the other one was about a stranger outside the door. When I was handed the project, the story text was already written and my job was the illustrations.

The special thing about these two books is the split storyline halfway through, each resulting in alternate endings. Yes, alternate realities! And I did enjoy choose-your-own-adventure books in the 80s. There was also a certain degree of suspense (eg. theft, robbery) in each story, which I liked. And I did my best in bringing that out in the illustrations, while at the same time, keeping it very child friendly.

Although it might look like I did it completely in natural media, I actually did the entire thing on my iPad Pro using Lisa Glanz's The Messy Paint Box Procreate brushes(Affiliate link*). This made it easier for me to make small changes requested by the client. I think they worked out well for the look I was going for. I was also giving each book a limited colour palette so there is a distinctive look for each book. And I was also paying attention to making the words and pictures work together seamlessly. I had to make sure I was showing just enough. Not too much or too little. It's all about smooth and clear storytelling. A delicate dance between pictures and words. And the challenge (and fun) is to balance that nicely.

These books aim to encourage early readers to read stories in Mandarin. If you are interested in purchasing the entire set (by various illustrators), they are available from ChildEd online. Or from a Union Book Co store in Singapore.

*Purchasing through the affiliate link allows me to have a small commission from Design Cuts without any extra cost to you. Thank you!:)