I’ve been cleaning out old files and reorganizing paperwork and materials, and finding some little treasures I knew were somewhere but haven’t seen in ages. In the 90s I designed and edited books for Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. here in Pittsburgh, and after a few years of designing books I also began illustrating a few covers, as a freelancer while I still worked my full-time day job. Dorrance was considered a vanity publisher in the day but today the authors would be considered self-published, paying a book company to produce their books.
Printing was generally one- or two-color and most of the budget went into the printing and physical production of the book, so interior illustrations were unusual. To keep costs down interior illustrations were also usually line art to integrate with the type, and ink sketches were typical. After I designed and illustrated Smokey’s Odysseys in 1997 I had the opportunity to illustrate a few other books as well. This assignment came to me in 2000, after I’d begun working at home.
A Tree Grows in the Silo is a story of a little gosling who is afraid of water! His father tells him the story of the maple tree that took root inside the silo and grew so big it shaded the ground all around, but no one ever thought a tree could grow in a silo. But who knew a tree could grow in a silo? It was just because the tree persisted and did something no one knew it could do, so little Loki should be brave and hop in the water.
I created my rough illustrations and sent them over for approval, then sketched them out in ink. I sent the originals to Dorrance and kept my rough illustrations, which are what I’ve shared here. But I wasn’t designing the book or the cover. Once the illustrations were done, so was I!
Below is a gallery of all the illustrations in order.
At that time, printers still made film so the text was output and the illustrations incorporated at the printer, and I sent the originals with the final book design. I made scans of each one, though, and kept my design and layout on my computer, later moving it off to a disk when I needed space on that computer. Funny thing about technology, I found they were saved on a Zip disk! Who remembers those? I didn’t realize I still had things saved on Zip disks and thought I’d moved everything onto CDs or onto an external drive. The books were one of the reasons I always had the latest in storage devices, but shortly after this, when more books were released digitally and authors went to self-publishing start to finish, they used more in-house staff for design and illustration so the books didn’t move onto CDs or DVDs. One of these days I’ll find a Zip drive to convert them and other things.
You can find the book, but no views of the illustrations, in the Dorrance Bookstore.
Each week on Wednesday I feature a piece of artwork, sometimes a current or historic portrait, sometimes an illustration or an art project from years ago, usually cat-themed, but sometimes wildlife or even non-animal subjects, and even projects from my commercial art life. Read other Featured Artwork posts.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Feline Artwork and Cards from Portraits of Animals
The sketches in this book led me to things like the sketch above. Read more and purchase.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!