Just a few days after she finished, I saw Carson Ellis present her process of creating the cover and illustrations for Wildwood. I was enthralled.
Her process was long and tedious. Ellis was meticulous with the details, but kept the illustrations whimsical. And I could relate to the frustration—the agony and the ecstasy but mostly the agony, as she puts it—of churning out one rejected almost-right idea after another.
Just a peek at Ellis’ process:
We (Colin and I and our editor, Donna Bray) wanted the cover of Wildwood to be a lot of things: classic-looking, epic-looking, sophisticated but also endearing to kids, funny, scary, mysterious. It was a tall order and, as a consequence, the cover design went through a crazy number of revisions. Twenty-four in all. I’m including a lot of them here to give a sense of the sometimes grueling, sometimes revelatory, editorial process.
Also: Looks like the second book in the trilogy—Under Wildwood—and its art was just announced yesterday.