The Creative Process

Creating our stories has been a long and careful process that involves a great deal of checking and editing and checking again. Our first book ‘Hide & Seek Hippo’ was produced entirely using hand drawn, water-colour paintings which were scanned and laid out digitally once each one was finalised. For Sam’s Shadow’s story we have had to adjust the way we work significantly – mostly because Lauren now lives in the Netherlands, and Melissa has been living in several countries in Africa!

The distance has meant that texting, video calls and digital artworking have been essential components of our process for book two. But we knew this before we began and we also knew that with two such different stories, we wanted two completely different visual styles. It has been great fun developing the two worlds which are opposite in so many ways. Hippo’s is so bright and wild and outdoors, a real African adventure, while Sam’s is much more controlled and indoors; his colours coming from popping shades set against the shadowy palette of greys and blacks. One tale is prose and one in rhyme. But both have friendship at their heart and both encourage children to address their fears and overcome them.

Here are some pictures of how it all happened.

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Lauren and I yawned a lot while we worked on this book!

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Working out the colour palette and how characters should look is a big part of the process

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Lauren works on one of the final water colours

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