“Illustrators, lets do it again. We’re looking for an illustrator who can draw awesome, quasi-retro robots for a fun book. Let me know.” -Giuseppe Castellano ( @pinocastellano )
Responding to this tweet was what started my adventure into the picture book world and ended with one of my favorite illustration projects of all time: the Robot Workshop activity book with Penguin Publishing. This is a stencil book where kids will actually be able to draw on the illustrated pages of the book!
There simply aren't enough words to express how thankful I am to have been able to contribute to this one. Working on a book which allows kids to draw on the pages was so much fun for me. My goal was to try and squeeze in as much detail as I could so kids would have fun getting lost in and drawing on top of this world. I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
My deepest thanks to Giuseppe Castellano. It was a dream come true working with him, and I hope lightning strikes twice and we get to do it again!
Now, onto the art!
Robot Workshop Title Page
Here we see our mad professor as he pulls levers, touches screens, and uses his mind to bring the Robot Workshop to life! I had a lot of fun sketching this guy and developing lots of expressions for him on each of the spreads.
Inside the Robot Workshop
Here we see the interior of the Robot Workshop. This is the first place kids get to draw their own Robot using the stencils I designed in the back of the book. This spread is where I really fell in love with the lighting and color design. I was experimenting with color overlays and underlays (is that a word?) and am really happy with the results.
Giant Monster Smash!
This was a really fun spread to work on. I actually had a few different options for the spread which included a more pulled out view of the monster, but the upclose view, as suggested by Giuseppe, worked much better within the context of the book.
Invaders From Outer Space!
This was the first spread I worked on for the Robot Workshop book and it is still one of my favorites. I grew up on shows like Robotech so I was excited to draw an alien invasion scene.
This spread gave me the opportunity to design creatures, bizarre environments, and lots of fun lighting. I love being able to add touches of detail that don't immediately jump out at you. To me, being able to explore artwork and find things within it was always rewarding as a kid. The final version of this illustration looks a bit different in the book as we needed to add more space for kids to draw on - but for selfish reasons, I like this version. ;)
Danger At 50,000 Leagues
Ok, I am terrified of the ocean. Not the beach, the ocean. The dark, dark abyss where creatures reside, just waiting to drag you under - creatures like the ones I was asked to draw here! As terrified as I am of the ocean, I still had so much fun drawing this one. It was really fun playing with the angles of the collapsing see cliffs as well as illustrating the typography. I really wanted to incorporate the typography into the scene as opposed to having it tacked on as an afterthought - and this was one scene which I thought came together well.
Rise of the Evil Robots
This was my favorite spread, hands down. The machinery, the composition, the robots... all of it was so much fun to draw!
There's nothing better than being asked to illustrate a book about Robots... unless of course you're asked to illustrate a book about Robots AND Ninjas! Here we get to see the interior of the Robot Workshop under attack by a group of Ninjas. These guys were a blast to design and I have pages and pages of sketches of them falling and flipping through the air. Good times.
Last, but not least, we have the Victory Screen! I kept imagining the end of all those video games I played in the 80's as the credits rolled and all the characters were on screen cheering. This was definitely one of the most challenging spreads to illustrate simply because of all the different robots, but I loved working on it and am happy with the results.
Thank you all so, so much for checking out my work! I don't have a chance to respond to everyone, but please know that I try to read all the comments and answer questions when I'm able. It means a lot to me to have a great community like Behance to be able to see great work and contribute work of my own.
Be sure to check out my site where you can see some of these images BIG: http://www.OrlinCultureShop.com