Hey everyone, and I am glad to announce that the wait is officially over for the second round of children’s book characters in my art style! In case you don’t know what’s going on, check out the initial round. There is also the Artwork page, in which I post new drawings there with posts like these after they’re up for some time, but if you don’t want a spoiler as to what characters I did or what the drawings look like, then this is the page for you.
By the way, I might as well explain why I haven’t posted in some time. I’ve been working on some posts that I want to make sure are at their best quality, so I haven’t rushed into them. My college semester is also almost over, but that’s typically the busiest time when I’m working on final projects. Not only that, but one of my assignments concerns a project I’ve been working on that I absolutely cannot wait to reveal, which will all be happening this May.
Also, I figured that now would be a good time to provide an update on the next installment of The Cross Dimensional Awareness of Izzy Speechbubbles. I know I said with the release of the first installment that it would at least be out by March, as I would have spring break to work on it. But I realized that even spring break doesn’t allow enough time to do so. So I’m simply going to put it out during my time out of school – a time in which posts in general will be coming out at a much faster rate, including the possible reveal of new projects.
Anyway, here are the usual rules before I begin:
- I’m only doing children’s book characters – meaning characters featured in books intended for audiences up to 12 years of age. Even if a character first appeared in another medium such as a comic strip or a game, I will still consider the character to be a children’s book character.
- I’ll usually do ten characters per round, though I might do more or less depending on what I’m feeling up to doing or how much time I have on my hands. If multiple characters are often associated together (i.e., Jack and Annie from Magic Tree House), I will consider them as one character for the round (featured in the same image).
- Since there are characters I will probably end up ignoring/not acknowledging, I’m open to requests to do these characters, as long as they are children’s book characters. I might also consider some young adult characters depending on the property.
- Some characters have styles that are specifically distinct from mine, so some characters will look more differently in my versions than others. Depending on how distinct the style of a certain character is from mine, I may ignore that character on purpose, unless requests entice me to challenge myself.
- Although I am creating a new interpretation of these characters, I will try to maintain the essence of their original designs, if there are certain features about them that in my style wouldn’t look the same. For example, I generally don’t give my characters dots for eyes, but if I am drawing a character with this trait, I will simply make the irises bigger.
- As usual, if you wish to share my work, you may do so for as long as you credit me. If you wish to use my work in any way, feel free to either comment or send a contact form on the Contact page.
And so let Round Two begin!
Rafe Khatchadorian, Middle School
I knew I had to start this round with Rafe for a shocking introduction – get ready to have your mind blown! The college teacher who taught me how to digitally render my artwork to become the way you see it on this very blog is Neil Swabb himself – who illustrated My Brother Is A Big Fat Liar! Not only that, but my father knew Steve Carr in high school – who would go on to direct the film adaptation! Hope that wasn’t too much to handle. For James Patterson’s mischief maker, I stuck to his classic red hoodie and jeans (why no hoodie in your movie, Rafe?), and put Rafe in one of his more nonchalant, confident poses. Swabb wished me the best of luck in this business, so I guess you can call this a gift for what he’s taught me. Thanks, Swabb! 😊
Alex and Conner Bailey, The Land of Stories
Given their more realistic depictions, Chris Colfer’s fairy tale twins were a bit harder to design. For Alex and Conner, I used their outfits on the cover of The Wishing Spell and based their poses on the cover of The Enchantress Returns. A film adaptation was announced in June 2017, though this was before the announcement of the Disney-Fox deal in November. So I guess Disney, a company notorious for changing up fairy tales, is getting the rights to a property that makes authentic depictions of fairy tales…huh. Although Colfer couldn’t have anticipated the deal, he is writing the screenplay and directing, so I’m sure it’s still fine. Still, I’m curious as to whether the deal has affected production on the film in any way since.
Fudge Hatcher, Fudge
If Ramona Quimby was a boy, the above result wouldn’t be too far off. Fun fact – good ol’ Farley would eventually serve as an influence for Manny Heffley, while his older brother Peter would be an influence for Greg himself. For our superhero to-be, the character’s depiction in the 2003 reprinting of the series was the obvious choice for an influence. This was the first drawing in which I applied a brush effect to certain parts, such as Fudge’s cheeks and the parts of his jeans that could really use a wash (if he’ll let you). Oh, and don’t worry – there are no turtles on this blog to be consumed. Sorry, Fudge!
Junie B. Jones, Junie B. Jones
Similar to Fudge, if Eloise was a middle-class brunette, the above result wouldn’t be too far off. Like her or hate her, I decided to do her:
the girl whose middle name Ramona can’t pronounce Junie B. Jones! Sure, she doesn’t have much morals to emulate, but she’s tons of fun to read, and that’s what writer Barbara Park was going for. Plenty of artwork has been made of the character, so there were a variety of outfits and poses to be inspired by for this drawing. The dots on her shirt was a fun effect to apply as well.
Judy Moody, Judy Moody
She’s a girl of many moods, but I’m sure she’s happy with this drawing! 🙂 For Judy Moody, I was considering putting her in her outfit from Was in a Mood, but I decided to search for one of her causal shirt-shorts-sneakers combos. I also wanted to do justice to those tufts of hair on top and that curl in front of her face, unlike A CERTAIN FILM ADAPTATION I WON’T MENTION! 😡 (Alright, the animated segments were pretty okay.) Whoops, that was moody of me. 😳 Okay, I’ve calmed down now. My bad. 😀
Stanley Lambchop, Flat Stanley
And here he is, the boy who got flattened by his own bulletin board, the boy who could slip under doors and be his brother’s kite, the boy whose dimensions can be restored with the blow of a bicycle pump. For Flat Stanley, I based his design off Scott Nash’s version, though I was tempted to incorporate elements of Macky Pamintuan’s version before I felt it didn’t work. This was the first drawing I entirely made digitally, thanks to new technologies I’ve recently required. The flatness effect was without a doubt the hardest part to make. With the character having been around for quite some time and the impact he has made from the Flat Stanley Project, he is definitely deserving of the film treatment.
Nate Wright, Big Nate
Sure, he’s more of a comic strip character than anything else, but it was the Poptropica island adaptation and Diary of a Wimpy Kid‘s impact that propelled the character to get his own book series. Much of Nate’s body is already similar to my art style, so it really wasn’t that hard to translate. But since the head wasn’t similar, it was quite a challenge to make the head work with the rest of the design. I used to read the strip daily on GoComics.com, but Lincoln Pierce, the writer of the strip, took a break due to undisclosed personal issues in his life. As a result, there have been no new strips this year, though I’m willing to wait as long as I have to, given the circumstances.
Fancy Nancy, Fancy Nancy
And I might as well conclude this post with another story for you today. Although this one isn’t as mind-blowing as the story with Rafe, it’s mind-blowing nonetheless. Some years ago I took a college course at Parsons called Children’s Book Illustration and Writing. It turns out that Jane O’ Connor, writer of the Fancy Nancy books, had the instructor of that course for a class once as well! She has even revisited her every now and then during her occasional visits to Parsons, though I haven’t seen her myself. She would tell us how hard Connor worked to not only write the stories, but to promote herself as well. It may sound intimidating, but given that Fancy Nancy is getting her own show on Disney Junior this summer, it’s definitely worth the effort.
I really, really wanted to do a full ten more characters this round, but I simply don’t have the time right now due to everything I said before. I’ll continue to focus on characters in other properties for Rounds Three and Four, before I start doing supporting characters for the properties I’ve explored in Round Five. Even with my concrete plans, I’ll try to mend my plans around any requests accordingly. While I can’t provide exact dates as to when these rounds will happen, they will certainly be coming. Until then, stay enlightened, educated and entertained, folks. 😉