Art Director Notes: A Map into the World

by Emily Harris, Associate Art Director

There are many things that I love about my job, but one aspect that I particularly enjoy is the quest to find the perfect illustrator for a project.

Once I received the manuscript for A Map into the World, and read it more times than I can count, and wept more times than I can count, I set off in search of an illustrator that could really bring Kalia’s beautiful words to life, visually.

I can’t remember exactly what lead me to Seo Kim’s website, but I was initially drawn to her lush landscapes and fantastic use of color and texture. As a group, we decided that Seo’s work would be a lovely fit, and we are all so pleased with how everything came together.

Here’s a look at some of the initial cover sketches for A Map into the World. I quickly typeset the title and author/illustrator names as placeholders, so the illustrator would have a rough idea of how much room to leave for each of these elements on the cover. I finessed the title typography once the final cover art was finished.

While we liked both of these sketches, we felt that the illustration of Paj Ntaub drawing on the sidewalk would really resonate with readers. This cover illustration is beautiful, (The flowers! The details in her skirt!) and it fits so well with the title and overall theme of the story.

It was an honor and a pleasure to work with Seo on this wonderful project. When you pick up a copy, I hope you will spend some time admiring the beautiful details throughout the book.

More posts by Emily.

5 thoughts on “Art Director Notes: A Map into the World

  1. susandilldetwiler

    Emily, I am very attracted to these illustrations by Keo Sim — they remind me of the delicate drawings by Mary Chalmers from a vintage favorite of mine by the wonderful Ursula Nordstrom, The Secret Language (Harper & Row 1960). Thanks for A Map into the World. I hope that you’ll take a look at my website to see my illustrations.

    1. carolhinz

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Susan! (And now I need to go check out The Secret Language from the library!)

  2. Pingback: A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang illustrated by Seo Kim – Teachers | Books | Readers

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