On Illustrating A Youngsters’s Guide With Jory Mason

I’ve been having fun with art work by Jory Mason for someday now (positively go take a look at her fabulous Nice Dane portrait that I wrote about right here) however it was her announcement that she was illustrating a youngsters’s e-book that spurred me to ask her to write down a visitor weblog for HowToPastel.

I ponder how many people have considered/are considering of illustrating a youngsters’s e-book? In the event you’re considered one of these individuals, you could discover this text about Jory Mason’s journey from dream to now-published e-book, Brotherly Love: A Seemore the Seagull Tale each useful and inspirational.

Jory Mason's Final book cover  for "Brotherly Love."
Closing e-book cowl for “Brotherly Love.”

Right here’s a wee bio for Jory Mason earlier than we go additional.

Jory Mason Bio

Jory Mason is an achieved artwork director/graphic designer who’s now specializing in her past love, portray. Jory attended L’Instituto D’Arte in Italy the place she had her first solo exhibition which fully offered out. She later studied at New England Faculty of Artwork/Design and Mass School of Artwork. Now an award profitable artist, she’s additionally exhibited in Boston, New York, and New Mexico. Her work has been showcased in Strokes of Genius 8: Expressive Texture printed by North Gentle Books. 

Jory has achieved Grasp Pastel standing with the Worldwide Affiliation of Pastel Societies (IAPS) and has just lately led her first worldwide portray workshop in Tuscany. You’ll be able to take a look at her web site here.

Earlier than I hand the weblog over to Jory, I’d prefer to share a few her pastel items not related to illustrating a youngsters’s e-book so that you get a fuller image of her abilities as an artist.

Jory Mason, "Light Quacking," pastel on paper, 20 x 16 in.
Jory Mason, “Gentle Quacking,” pastel on paper, 20 x 16 in.
Jory Mason, "More Confident," pastel on paper, 12 x 14 in.
Jory Mason, “Extra Assured,” pastel on paper, 12 x 14 in.
Jory Mason, "Good Days Work," pastel on paper, 12 x 9 in.
Jory Mason, “Good Days Work,” pastel on paper, 12 x 9 in.

Now it’s over to Jory! All through her story, I’ve positioned her layouts and corresponding pages from the e-book. This gives you a way of the visible growth of the illustrations from the format to the ultimate look.


Once I went to artwork college my intention was to change into a youngsters’s e-book illustrator. I wasn’t even finished with college once I bought a proposal to work as a “mechanical artist.” (This meant doing paste-ups and photograph stats, or gluing strips of galleys of textual content and artwork onto a board for replica.) I liked working in an artwork division for a big retail chain. Quickly I used to be doing a little spot illustrations for the newspaper. 

After a couple of years I bought my first job in an promoting company in Boston. I liked it. Again then, the advert ideas and story boards for commercials had been drawn with magic markers. I then employed photographers and (actual) illustrators to do the ultimate artwork. I progressed from Graphic Designer, to Artwork Director, to Affiliate Artistic Director. By then I used to be doing much less and fewer “artistic” work and an increasing number of conferences and shopper shows. This didn’t make me completely happy so I began freelancing on the aspect. Inside a 12 months I had sufficient shoppers to stop and be unbiased. That was about 35 years in the past and I’m nonetheless a contract artwork director.

Jory Mason: Layout showing Winthrop Tower
Jory Mason: Format displaying Winthrop Tower
Jory Mason: Final art for Winthrop Tower
Jory Mason: Closing artwork for Winthrop Tower

Some background… My grandfather John R. Neill was a full time artist. He’s greatest recognized for illustrating 39 volumes of the Wizard of OZ. His creativeness and technical means blow me away. A lot in order that making an attempt to comply with in his footsteps was fairly intimidating. 

My mom Annrea Neill was a really achieved pastel painter and Director of the Falmouth Artist’s Guild on Cape Cod. Once I was 20, she requested me to hitch her in a 5-day figurative workshop with Albert Handell in Woodstock NY. I had by no means tried pastels earlier than however it was a wonderful expertise. It was a superb factor I didn’t know the way well-known he’s!

Jory Mason: Layout showing Wind Storm
Jory Mason: Format displaying Wind Storm
Jory Mason: Final art for Wind Storm
Jory Mason: Closing artwork for Wind Storm

Work and household left no time for doing “actual” artwork work, so I didn’t decide up pastels once more till after my Mother died 30 years later. I inherited all of her artwork provides and books. So lastly, I bought up the nerve to unpack them and take a category with Donna Rossetti Baily on the North River Artwork Society. She needs to be referred to as a therapist in addition to a beautiful instructor and painter. I took her weekly class for about 10 years however hardly ever painted by myself. I additionally began attending pastel workshops, usually six per 12 months! It stays an habit though I’m now main workshops. (Essentially the most thrilling one was in Tuscany final Fall). I like the camaraderie of working with different artists.

Jory Mason: Layout showing friends making a sling out of kelp
Jory Mason: Format displaying pals making a sling out of kelp
Jory Mason: Final art for friends making a sling out of kelp
Jory Mason: Closing artwork for pals making a sling out of kelp

So, how did all this result in my lastly illustrating a youngsters’s e-book? 

My sister bought an e mail from her artwork group. Somebody was in search of an illustrator so she forwarded the e-mail to me. I instantly put collectively a flyer with a couple of work which may work as illustrations and despatched it out. The writer instructed me it had already been assigned and he or she would “preserve me on file.” Then, six months later, she despatched me the manuscript for “Brotherly Love.”  I already had a whole lot of photographs I’d taken of seagulls and liked the story so I mentioned sure. 

Jory Mason: Layout showing scaring off weasels
Jory Mason: Format displaying scaring off weasels
Jory Mason: Final art for scaring off weasels
Jory Mason: Closing artwork for scaring off weasels

Then some worry set in. How do I do that? 

Fortunately my pleasure overpowered my worry and I jumped in. This meant gathering extra photograph reference materials, doing thumbnail idea sketches, setting the e-book up within the InDesign programme in double web page spreads with the textual content in place so I knew how a lot room I had. 

I did a couple of pattern designs in marker and despatched them to the writer. She instructed me they often simply do single web page illustrations however after seeing my layouts bought permission to provide half of the e-book utilizing illustrations that spanned each pages. She despatched the layouts to the writer who liked them and had no adjustments. I used to be instructed to maintain going with no course from them in any respect. I had a two-month deadline and did 15 work in three weeks. I used to be completely pumped! 

Jory Mason: Layout showing protecting the eggs
Jory Mason: Format displaying defending the eggs
Jory Mason: Final art for protecting the eggs
Jory Mason: Closing artwork for safeguarding the eggs

I began every illustration precise dimension (8×10 or 10×16 in) on UART paper with a watercolor underpainting, Typically I labored on toned paper. I photographed the pastel illustrations with my iPhone and designed all the e-book for manufacturing. The one glitch was once they lastly despatched the proofs to me. The illustrations regarded good however the e-book design and sort fonts had modified considerably. I used to be upset however was instructed it was already being printed so I needed to let it go. Now I’m considering of writing my very own e-book so I can management all of it.

Proposed book cover
Proposed e-book cowl

Listed here are a few suggestions for those who’re serious about entering into youngsters’s e-book illustration.

The social media recreation for kids’s e-book illustrators was once dominated by Instagram, a photo-based community, however with Twitter’s recent update that allows for images of bigger sizes, there’s little question a variety of potential right here, too. Use the #writingcommunity tag on Twitter and also you’ll discover loads of authors of varied genres sharing their ideas, considerations, and name for skilled assist.

Additionally contemplate Reedsy. It’s a useful resource hub {and professional} market catering particularly to authors. With over 500,000 authors on-site, in search of illustrators to rent, there’s by no means a scarcity of tasks. And since illustration is such a distinct segment talent, high quality youngsters’s e-book illustrators are all the time in excessive demand.

Jory Mason's Final book cover for "Brotherly Love."
Closing e-book cowl for “Brotherly Love.”

By the way in which, a couple of instances throughout these weeks of illustrating, I might hear my husband laughing whereas I used to be loudly squawking in my studio. (I used to be entering into character so I might really feel what the seagulls had been going by means of!) 

You gotta have enjoyable!


And isn’t that FUN?!

I like how Jory takes us by means of her journey from the dream of illustrating a youngsters’s e-book to the ultimate printed product.

Have you ever been considering of illustrating a youngsters’s e-book? Tell us within the feedback. And in addition tell us your ideas on Jory’s journey!

Till subsequent time,


PS. Occupied with supporting Jory Mason and getting her e-book? Click on here.

Illustrating a children's book: Jory Mason, early sketch idea
Jory Mason, early sketch concept