One of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on over the last few years is Mysteries in Time. It’s an award-winning history subscription box packed with great stuff for children aged 7-11, including a story book, puzzles, stickers and lots more. The brainchild of Samantha Metcalf, an ex-teacher, it’s all about the adventures of Max and Katie and how they go back in time to various historical periods and solve mysteries along the way.
For me it was the chance to be involved with something educational and fun and was exactly the sort of thing I would have loved as a child. As an illustrator it was a chance to combine book cover design, digital illustration, character design, historical line art and hand-drawn cartoons.
The cover designs in particular were a great chance for me to have some fun with historical fonts and banner designs, along with the line drawings in the background and also dressing the characters in period costume. All the different elements were also utilised in other areas of the pack such as the history magazine and colouring pages etc.
Inside the book I had to illustrate the lovely little story following Max and Katie on their adventures with around a dozen or so black and white drawings. First of all, as I normally do with any job, I supplied the client with pencil sketches of each image for them to approve after any necessary amendments before doing the final drawings by hand. Some of these were also digitally coloured for use in the magazine and elsewhere.
Story sketches through to finished line drawings and colour illustration
The whole project has been immense fun and it’s been very satisfying to see the full range of work in print and also on their extensive website.