Tag Archive for The Creative Process

Jigsaw Jones Cover: Part 6, Final Art

I’m thrilled with the final piece of art that R.W. Alley just sent to me. Actually, it’s two scans of the same art — separated by four hours worth of work. An amazing glimpse behind the scenes, don’t you think? Thank you, Bob.

To recap:

In October, for Part One, I talked about the “cover concept” with Scholastic editor Matt Ringler. For Parts Two and Three, we learned about cover illustrator R.W. Alley’s creative process, concluding with an interview with R.W. himself. The rough sketches arrived for Part Four, with a variety of different ideas explored. In late December, Part Five, I chatted with art director Jennifer Rinaldi about her role in the process. And here we are in early February, almost four months after this whole shooting match began.

Bob Alley included a note with the scans:

1. A scan of the finished drawing before it was finished.  I’ve included the extra area around the drawing that the printer needs so the art can run off the trimmed edges of the book.

2. A scan of the finished drawing cropped to the final size.

Please note that they are the same drawing.  I think readers would be interested that these two scans show the same piece of paper, only in different points in time.  Like about 4 hours apart.

Same piece of art, four hours later . . .

It might be helpful to see them smaller, side by side. Let’s see if I can figure out how to do this:

Here’s the rough sketch that Bob handed in back in November (remember, you can click on it to make it larger).


If you remember, Jennifer decided to flip it for dastardly art director type reasons. At the time, Jen hadn’t settled on the colors. I guess that will be our last step.


NOTE: Here’s a link to the final post in this seven-part series: Seven. Read them all and experience the awe and wonder of the creative, collaborative process!

Jigsaw Jones Cover: Part 2, Over to the Artist

I recently received an email from R.W. Alley (that’s him, up there), the artist who does the covers for the Jigsaw Jones series. R.W. — or Bob, as his friends seem to know him — has been an enormously productive illustrator for many years. Just take a gander at his website! I’ve especially enjoyed his Mrs. Toggle books, written by Robin Pulver. Here’s another sweet piece, from Because Your Daddy Loves You by Andrew Clements:

Hmmm. There’s a little bit of Marc Simont in R.W.’s style, don’t you think?

As discussed previously, sheriff Matt Ringler and his Scholastic posse have already sent Bob a “cover concept” memo regarding an upcoming book. It is my hope to follow this process to completion, so I wrote to R.W. Alley — first time we’ve had contact in at least six years — and asked for a peek behind the scenes.

He wrote back:

“I would be happy to share my sketches with your readers. The Scholastics have asked for a cover finish by Feb ’09, so I should have a first sketch ready by Thanksgiving. I can send not only the color sketch, but also all the first doodles, if you like — and it sounds as if you will like. I’ll keep you posted.”

First, I love how he calls them “the Scholastics.” That’s just funny. Second, yes, doodles! Third, documenting this process should be illuminating. Hopefully, there will be some ugly cat fights along the way. It would be such a letdown if this turns out to be a mature, professional, collaborative process of give and take, where creative talents work together in a spirit of mutual respect to blah, blah . . . boring, boring, boring.

I don’t know, though. Old R.W. doesn’t strike me as the diva type. But one can hope.


NOTE: Here’s some links to the all the posts in this seven-part series: One, Two, Three, FourFive, and Six, and Seven. Read them all and experience the awe and wonder of the creative, collaborative process!