Illustration Process – Amira’s Suitcase

Below is the illustration process I used to create the illustrations for Amira’s Suitcase.
Amira’s Suitcase was such a beautiful book to illustrate. I loved working with the colour palette of rich, deep colours.

The Process

After reading a manuscript I always do a bunch of initial sketches. It is here where I can see the characters start to evolve. My first important decision was not a character at all, it was in fact the suitcase. I searched local thrift shops for an old suitcase that I could use as a reference and I found this suitcase for a bargain and purchased it. I loved its friendly curves, the edging and throughout my illustration process, I used it to get correct perspective from all angles. It is very handy to carry things when I do school visits!

The Suitcase

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amiras-suitcase-nicky-johnston

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The Characters

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amiras-suitcase-illustration-process

amiras-suitcase-illustration-process

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Colour study for the characters

First Roughs

Once I have worked out the characters, I start to play with the setting and weaving in other parts of the story.

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nicky-johnston-author-illustrator 

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amiras-suitcase-illustration-process

amiras-suitcase-illustration-process

Final Artwork

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The Cover

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amiras-suitcase-illustration-process

amiras-suitcase-illustration-process

amiras-suitcase-illustration-process
I worked very closely with the wonderful designer Verity Clark from New Frontier and I am utterly thrilled with how the cover and the book has turned out.

It is a beautiful story of hope, friendship and growth. Make sure you grab a copy for home and school!

Written by Vikki Conley, illustrated by Nicky Johnston, published by New Frontier Publishing

Amira’s Suitcase is available March 2021

ORDER HERE

Staying creative,
Nicky x

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