I’ve always been interested in learning how illustrators work and what they do when they aren’t focusing on what’s happening on the page of their latest creative project. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce Gwynneth Jones, who recently celebrated the release of the picture book Together Things, written by Michelle Vasiliu. This beautifully crafted story looks at how a little girl finds different ways to keep the bonds of love alive when her formerly fun-loving father experiences depression. The text is powerful in its simplicity and Gwynneth’s colourful illustrations are fresh and vibrant.
Join me on my virtual visit to her studio in a collective space called The Creator Incubator where she drew Together Things.
After I receive the manuscript from the publisher, I draw up some roughs to the actual size of the finished book. I have tried to make miniature dummy books, but it just doesn’t work for me. I then send them off electronically to the editor and book designer who places them into a pdf layout for adjustments and then we’re ready to go on with the finished works if they’re happy with the roughs.
I work on the finished drawings in a random order rather than front to back of the book because styles can change. I hang the drawings up as I work on them as I’m trying to get consistency for the characters and colour palette, and to see what works for order of illustrations. This is the first book that I’ve finished my hand done drawings digitally, and I’m really happy with the extra touches.
When I’m not creating books I have a few different jobs to support myself. I work as an Uber driver, as an admin temp worker and I also run an Airbnb.
When I’m not doing any of those (and sometimes it’s all in one day) I can be found out and about or doing nothing!
Together Things by Michelle Vasiliu and Gwynneth Jones
Her dad used to be fun, but now he’s sad. As her father tries to get better, a young girl finds new ways to connect with him. He might not be able to play with her as he used to, but they can still show their love for each other. They just need to find different ‘together things’ to do.
The book is available here and from leading booksellers.