A little peek behind the curtain here!: This is the process of making a cover illo for Highlights Puzzlemania.
First, the art director, Colleen Pidel, gets in touch with an assignment. The description: “4 color scene of a soccer game: ANTS vs. one CENTIPEDE that is sideways on the field; taking up the entire width, with little sneakers on the end of its’ 100 legs. We can see little fans in the stadium, but can’t see them well enough to tell what they are. Maybe a beetle is the referee as well.”
I like to do thumbnails when it comes to covers, instead of skipping right to sketches, so we can figure out the composition, jokes, etc. on a small scale. #3 was picked with one adjustment: Make the centipede curved, and Colleen provided the reference.
The sketch was approved easily, with small changes to the ant’s expressions (they looked a little distraught in an earlier version.)
And then I wanted to provide a number of options for the colors. I’m happy with the one they chose (#2). The blue ants are kinda cool and different, and I like how the red centipede stands out against the cooler green and blue of the setting.
Boring to hear about the process? Probably. But there it is!