Science Book a Day Interviews Beverley Young

beverley-youngSpecial thanks to Beverley Young for answering 5 questions about her illustrations of the recently featured book – How Animals Live

I am a freelance illustrator living and working in Cornwall. I studied at Falmouth School of Art, where I specialised in Ceramic Design, but later returned to painting. I work in acrylic on board, and also Photoshop, creating lively, quirky illustrations for children’s books, magazines, advertising and packaging. – From Beverley’s Homepage

Beverley’s Homepage: http://www.beverleyyoungillustration.co.uk

#1 – How did you get involved with How Animals Live?

I had worked on the 3 previous books in the ‘How It Works’ series for Templar. When it came to this book, Christiane and I had discussed what we thought children loved reading about, and we came to the same conclusion… animals! I have 3 sons that are animal mad so this was a very exciting project.

#2 – How do you work your illustrations into a pop-up book? Is it different from a more conventionally illustrated book?

Andy Mansfield, the Paper Engineer works out the pop-up aspect of it before it’s sent to me. He sends me a working model with a sketched version of what it needs to look like. I need to make sure my illustrations are kept reasonably accurate to fit his layout, otherwise the pop-ups wouldn’t work. It’s different to illustrating a conventional book, as my illustrations are quite often done in little bits. I usually don’t get to see what they look like pieced together until I see the finished book, which is always very exciting!

#3 – The book is consistently appreciated for its vivid images. Do you have a philosophy for the way you illustrate your books?

I always keep my illustrations bright and cheerful. I try to keep them quite loose and not over-detail things, but sometimes with non-fiction it’s important to add details to illustrate things that are mentioned in the text. I love painting animals so this book was a joy to work on.

#4 – Your work needs to be relatively scientifically accurate. How do you ensure your illustrations are accurate?

Andy finds a lot of reference material for his initial sketches which he passes on to me. I like to fully understand what I’m illustrating, so I often do more research on the internet to make sure I’m getting everything accurate. I have learned a lot from illustrating this series!

#5 – Are you working on any new books/projects that you can tell us about?

I have finished the next book in the How It Works series, How The World Began, which is due to be published later this year. It covers everything from the Big Bang, through to early civilisations, and then onto cities of the future. It has been a challenging one to illustrate, but thoroughly enjoyable. Most recently I have been working with Christiane Dorion and the WWF on a logo for a series of workshops to do with How Animals Live.

[Image supplied by Beverley Young]

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