On Artist Shortlists and The Floating Field

By Danielle Carnito, Art Director

Making a list of possible artists for picture books is standard procedure here. We make shortlist through searching for style, through thought, through discussion, through sharing top picks with the author, through Ooohs and Aaaahs and “Wouldn’t it be great if (insert famous illustrator name) could work on this book?” We — in this case designer Viet, editor Carol, and Art Director me — spend time carefully finding and talking through the many possibilities and narrow to shortlist of artists, whom I then start reaching out to with the illustration proposal.

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A Bowl Full of Peace: An Illustration Timeline

Picture books aren’t that quick to make. Sure, there can be exceptions, but mostly they involve a lot of time and love and work. It can be years from start of a project to the book release, when you hope that thing you worked on for so long gets a good reception when it finally makes out into the world. I took a look back at events in the timeline of one of our new Fall picture books; A Bowl Full of Peace by Caren Stelson, illustrated by Akira Kusaka. Here now is a little window into one picture book’s timeline (from the Art Director’s perspective, of course):

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K-3 Book Design: Deceptively Easy?

by Danielle Carnito, Trade Art Director
In our Millbrook imprint, we recently started publishing highly visual expository nonfiction specifically geared toward young readers in grades K-3. Anytime we start a new type of book, working through the design aspects to figure out what we really need to communicate visually is always a fun exercise.

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All of a Sudden and Forever

by Danielle Carnito, Trade Art Director

It isn’t every book where the creators and the publishing team all visit the site of a book’s events. It isn’t every book where you happen to check your social media on a holiday weekend and notice pictures the illustrator is posting from her trip to the site. Read More