My ABC Book - Interview with Illustrator Holly Blackman

9th December 2015

Bob Books is proud to release our new My ABC Book App. We interviewed Holly Blackman, the Illustrator of the personalised alphabet book to find out about the design process behind the illustrations. 


Holly Blackman

When I was asked to be involved in the ABC app with Bob Books I was quite excited. I have always wanted to create an alphabet book and when I was told the idea of the app I was pleased to be involved.

I have always had a passion for art which lead me to study illustration at Falmouth University. Since graduating I have had a range of freelance projects including card design, logo design, children’s books and posters but to create imagery for an app was something new for me.

The brief gave me a lot of freedom to create imagery I enjoyed drawing like bears in bow ties, crocodiles eating cake and goats wearing glasses. It did however become more difficult when it got to letters like Q and U. For many weeks I carried around a little sketch book with me just in case inspiration struck. Most people I met I would ask what words would pop into their head if said a certain letter. It did make me realise, when looking back at the many scribbles in my sketch book, that a lot my friends and family’s answers where maybe slightly too inappropriate for a children’s book. With the really tricky ones I read through the dictionary, not my highlight of the project. 

I would start getting page ideas by bringing the items I would think would work well together and then create page thumbnails to figure out the composition.

Once I have the composition I am happy with I sent a black and white rough copy to Bobs Books. 

Once approved I would either draw the images as a whole within the dimensions or I would create parts of the images separately using paint, inks, pencil and pen and then pull them altogether using a bit of Photoshop magic. 

The project has been a lot of fun and even though I have finished, I can’t help but think of new ideas, although the dog doesn’t like it very much when I try to put him in a dressing gown. I am excited to see the finished app and hope to work with Bobs Books in the future.

The My ABC Book is now available for download on iTunes. Click here to find out more


Click here to view more by Holly Blackman.