Wednesday 21 June 2023

Game On, Zhuri!

Here's a selection of illustrations from a wonderful commission that came in last year from Reycraft to fully illustrate the first children's book from an exciting new US author called Deshaun Zollicoffer, entitled Game On, Zhuri! How To Defeat A Blob Monster. The story centres around a new video game created by programming whizz, Zhuri. The game, Zhuri's World, develops a mysterious bug which enables a blob monster to kidnap her Uncle Mike forcing Zhuri and her two best friends to enter the game and rescue him - a little like a latter-day Tron for the console kids.

I really enjoyed the story and I'd not really been approached to take on an anything quite like this before so, with a little trepidation, I jumped at the chance. The brief involved creating all the characters and the world of Zhuri from scratch, with a 9 year old audience in mind, and delivering a cover and 20 illustrations over a period of six months. The book layout had been pre-designed by the publisher, which was helpful, and there was a requirement for a distinct look and feel for real life and in-game characters and scenes. It was great fun designing the character costumes and appearance for both realities and I developed a pixelated vignette effect to go with the boosted palette of the game world. The writing was funny and imaginative so it was a joy to bring the scenes to life and creating the blob monsters was particularly enjoyable! Overall it was a smooth process and very rewarding to work on an extended commission that allowed the time to attend to the details. More of this please! The book is available for pre-order now and available from 27th June. You can see more of the artwork on the main site here.

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