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Annabelle Hartmann
Jennifer Appleby


On the Edge (Lightning Reader)
Ginn & Co, Harcourt Education
ISBN: 0-602-30798-8

May 14, 2003

a series of eight black and white illustrations for the Alison Price story, Jennifer Applebly, pp. 39-61

This title was aimed at the young reader of about eight to twelve years of age. With this particular series, the publisher intended to produce books to help and support the weaker reader by offering short contemporary and intensely illustrated stories.

As a freelance illustrator I am often commissioned to produce illustrations for educational publishing. This basically means creating imagery to accompany another author’s story.

Commissions are often structured around a detailed brief with particular requirements for illustrative imagery. In order to fulfil the brief I have to adhere to a set of instructions given by the editor or designer and operate within these restrictions. My individual goal as an imaginative illustrator then consists of interpreting these "rules" through my own visual language and offering more than just a "straight" translation of the given text.

Working with other peoples’ texts is a considerable challenge, as I not only have to visualise their imagination to develop specific characters and scenes, but also expand the written text by adding my own visual interpretation.

The technique I used incorporated photographic backgrounds of predominantly a park setting. Characters were drawn in pen and ink and then linked with these realistic backgrounds. I utilized my surrounding environment for research and inspiration, yet my aim was to use this visual research in a subtle way, in order to not overemphasize the actual locality but to stimulate the viewer’s imagination.

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London Metropolitan University