This visually stunning book offers readers a glimpse of our beautiful planet and introduces them to inspiring people from around the world who are taking action to protect and save it. Lydia Hill, the illustrator, has answered a few questions about her illustrations for this book.
This would be the ultimate project book for schools to work from, meeting fascinating people, inspiring change within their school community and feeling that their efforts would be welcomed by our planet. My youngest and I spent ages on each page, admiring the illustrations but learning about the impact humans have had on our Wonderful world, positive and negative.
Hello! My name is Lydia Hill and I had the pleasure of illustrating What a Wonderful World!
What’s your favourite spread of artwork in the book?
It changes day by day, but my favourite today is the Mountains Biome spread! Getting to draw a giant sparkly scene of the Himalayas full of yaks and leopards and tahr’s was a dream.
What’s your art process?
So for non-fiction books like What a Wonderful World, I’ll start with a brief including all the text that will be on the page and a list of all the elements need to appear in the scene.
From there I can start collecting some reference photos of all the animals/people/the setting of the scene and start drawing in elements around the text. The artwork begins with a rough sketch before we go on to colour. I use an app called Procreate on the iPad and an iPencil to make all my artwork.
It’s super important to give the text lots of breathing room and to keep the space underneath nice and plain so the text is easy to read.
How do you choose your colours?
With a big book project it’s important to keep the colours nice and varied, especially when showing such a massive diversity of plants, animals, people and settings.
Seeing as What a Wonderful World was split into biome chapters, I tried to keep each of these chapters colour coded so the spreads felt consistent. The mountain pages were purple, the desert pages were orange and peach, the ice world pages were white and blue.
I also tried to use bright contrasting colours to highlight little details of the scenes, including tiny flowers and little frogs and bugs.
What was your favourite animal to draw?
I loved drawing the giant squid on the oceans biome spread!
How do you turn someone into an illustration?
The first step is collecting a lot of reference photos. Luckily, a lot of our Earthshakers have active social media’s which made it easier to find photos of them. From there, I do my best to draw them as similar to the photos as I can.
Thank you Lydia for sharing insight into your process and work!