Lindsey Smith, author
Quelcy Kogel, photographer and food stylist
Laura Apperson, editor
Illustration (cover and 150+ interior illustrations)
Lettering (cover and interior headlines)
TELL ME MORE
I was approached by an author I follow on Instagram named Lindsey Smith (she writes about food, I draw a lot of food). Lindsey told me about a new book she was working on called Eat Your Feelings. Her book would focus on ways to transform your life by learning from your cravings—part science of food, part self-help, part cookbook. I sent Lindsey a sample illustration based on an excerpt of her book, and she and her publisher, MacMillan, officially signed me on as illustrator.
Once Lindsey’s manuscript was complete, I was given a list of 150+ illustration assets that ranged from illustrating how to properly chop an onion to visually explaining how neurotransmitters worked. After the illustrations were complete, I was also asked to illustrate and letter the book’s cover.
Lindsey’s book is a humorous, lighthearted take on a diet book, and the challenge of the illustrations was to capture and enhance the author’s humor and message. Many illustrations involved distilling complex technical information, like how neurotransmitters work, into a fun, simple graphic.
Lindsey and I spent a significant amount of time going through her manuscript and brainstorming ideas for how to represent the more complicated ideas. Lindsey also gave me a good amount of freedom once we realized that our humor and vision often aligned very closely. (And she let me draw as many food-related puns as I wanted!) Often our process involved me sending her quick sketches, usually just photos taken on my phone to make sure we were on the same page.
After sending rough black and white sketches for about 20 assets, I started creating digital illustrations with a color palette drawn from the photography that was going to be used in the book. Once the color illustrations were complete and revisions were made, I also hand-lettered chapter headlines and the book’s cover.
Lindsey and I also collaborated on additional collateral for her book tour, which included fabric patterns, a book tour map, and materials for downloadable dinner party kits used around the country.
Finally, I laser cut a series of pins based on illustrations from the book.
REFLECTION AND NEXT STEPS
This project was a significant undertaking (especially during my first year of school) and a valuable learning experience. I’m most proud of my relationship with the author—because we took the time to connect and understand each other’s work and vision, my illustrations are deeply in line with her words. Our yearlong email/phone correspondence led to an amazing book event this February—she stopped in Seattle on her book tour with the book’s photographer, and the 3 of us were part of a standing-room only event at Book Larder in Fremont.