The Chaos Castle Courtyard is delighted to welcome Richard Jones, illustrator of Feelings, writing about the ideas behind the illustrations used for each emotion:
I think I experienced all the emotions depicted in Feelings while illustrating the book. (Except anger. I don’t remember feeling angry once!) I can definitely say I was excited when my agent called to tell me about the project and I was so happy putting it together. To be honest, I’m still a little sad it’s over…
When I first read through Libby’s wonderful text I knew it could be a lovely book and straight away ideas for spreads began to percolate.
Some of the feelings described in the text are more suggestive of imagery than others. The angry spread, for example, hints strongly at a seething volcano of emotion bubbling in the tummy, while the text for sad uses only subtle references to water and tears.
In the case of angry, I decided from the beginning that it should be full of bursting energy, jagged shapes and fiery colours. I made some early notes in a sketchbook…
“Reds, oranges, yellows
All of which made it into the finished artwork!
In contrast to the explosive angry spread, the artwork for sad required a more sensitive handling. Libby’s subtle metaphor of a river busting its banks suggested flowing tides and rising waters.
I am very fond of the image of the sad dog holding out a paw. This little drawing was inspired by my own dog, Megan who, if she’s tired, bored or just feeling mischievous goes to great lengths to convince anyone who’s watching that she has a sore paw. One gentle rub and a quiet ‘poor paw’ in her ear seems to do the trick every time!