Now that all the illustrations have been completed for our storybook, artist Heather Hudson stopped by the Zoo to show us all the original pieces. It was exciting to see the full-size versions of her amazing work, especially since I have witnessed the evolution of the pieces from idea to sketch to color draft to the finished product. Although it is purely Heather's artistry, I can't help but feel a close attachment to the work!
The amount of time and effort Heather invested in this project went well beyond my (and her!) expectations. I'm so pleased I selected Heather to be the illustrator for this book; I can't imagine anyone else being so dedicated to getting the images so right by both her and my standards. I'm sure I drove her crazy with some of the tiny details (tweaking a paw here, slimming a belly there) but she never complained. It was definitely a privilege working with her!
We hope to wrap up the graphic design and final translation within a month or so, then off it goes to print. I really can't wait to get this beautiful book in my hands and share it with the students in clouded leopard range countries!