The marvellous Lorna Scobie publishes her first colouring book today, but I am lucky enough to own an advance copy so I’ve had bit of time to get acquainted with her uniquely cheeky critters. Jungle Paradise has a gorgeous cover with gift-tastic green metallic highlights and lots of crisp white pages, and it is a detailed frolic through the jungle featuring numerous animals, some inspired by a call out to this popular illustrator’s fans. Amongst the landscapes of larger fauna there are pages of insects and birds, ensuring something for every animal lover. I can’t wait to get started… Lorna tells us more.
How long did it take to create Jungle Paradise and when did you work on it?
As I work full time, I worked on Jungle Paradise in the evenings and at the weekend. Although it’s meant I’ve been kept super busy for the past few months, I have really enjoyed creating the artwork so it didn’t feel like I was coming home from work to do work, more that I was spending time doing something I love to do. We were keen for the book to publish sooner rather than later, to make sure it was out before Christmas, so the schedule was quite tight! I started working on the book around June this year and it took me a couple months to complete it.
Where did you find inspiration for the pages inside Jungle Paradise, and did you use anything specific as reference?
The book itself was inspired by my love of animals generally, as a lot of my work up to now has been animal based. I tend to work from imagination, so lots of Jungle Paradise just came straight from my head. For some of the more unusual animals, like the ocelot and some of the lizards, I referenced some of the animal books I’ve collected. As well as encyclopaedias of animals and plant life I have lots of house plants surrounding my workspace – these were a big inspiration too! At the beginning of the project I asked my Instagram and Twitter followers what their favourite jungle animals are, and tried to include as many as these as possible!
What materials and techniques did you use to create the illustrations for Jungle Paradise?
I stayed true to my black and white illustration style, using a black fine liner, but made it more refined and detailed for the purpose of colouring in.
Where do the motivational quotes in Jungle Paradise come from and who found them?
I worked closely with my editor to find quotes as we wanted to get across the tranquility and wonder of nature. We hope Jungle Paradise will be an escape from busy city life, and so the quotes help to inspire people to think about the natural world rather than their ever increasing to-do lists!
How did you get the commission for your own colouring book?
I had worked previously with the editor and the idea of doing a colouring book together was sparked by a colouring workshop I did at Pick Me Up illustration festival this year. I was already thinking of doing a characterful animal colouring book at the time, so when I was approached by Hardie Grant Books to do something in that style it seemed perfect.
Your animals are described as “cheeky” – how did this come about and what elements do you include to ensure a cheeky look?
I’ve learnt to embrace the “happy mistakes” that crop up all too regularly in my work, rather than spending too long on a drawing, or reworking things over and over again. Hopefully this gives each of my characters a bit of personality, as they aren’t in any way perfect.
Who do you hope will buy your new book?
As well as creative crowds, I hope that Jungle Paradise will also reach a new market of people who perhaps don’t see themselves as creative. Or people who would like to be creative but aren’t sure where to start. Colouring-in is for everyone, and thats what is so fab about it. No special skills are required.
Will there be another? What has the feedback been so far?
I am working on a follow-up book as feedback from Jungle Paradise has been really positive so far, which is very exciting!
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