Tellwell illustrator and cover design consultant Jamie Jamandre spends her days illustrating beautiful images for Tellwell’s children’s authors and consulting with authors about their cover design. Get to know Jamie, learn what illustration styles she’s most drawn to, and what she believes makes for a really good illustration.
I think the key to a good working relationship is communication and understanding.Jamie Jamandre, Tellwell Publishing Illustrator
What inspired you to become an illustrator?
Like many illustrators, I’m largely inspired by cartoons, comic books, animated films and Japanese anime. Sci-fi and fantasy genres inspire me the most.
What do you love about illustrating children’s books?
I like being able to peer into the lives of the authors, and hear their stories. Stories from people of all walks of life, their families, their values, or the places they are from – I like getting a glimpse into their world through the power of their words.
What design/illustration styles are you most drawn to?
Although I appreciate all sorts of design styles, I find myself most drawn to soft watercolors and painterly styles, as well as pen and ink drawings. I like playing around with gradients and textures and experimenting when I can with my artwork.
What do you think makes for a really good book illustration?
Composition and content are key. An illustration with a clear subject and well-rendered, fitting colors is a good thing, but what can really make the illustration connect with the reader is a simple, yet strong message. An image with a heart to it.
What is your approach to working with authors?
I try to read through their stories as much as I can and do my best to understand where they are coming from, providing suggestions when applicable. I think the key to a good working relationship is communication and understanding.
Where do you draw your design inspiration?
With the dawn of the internet, there’s no shortage of places to look for inspiration. Whether it’s from Pinterest, Behance, Reddit, Webtoons or other sites online, I like looking at how other artists work and seeing what the latest trends and styles are. I also like to read books, and I continue to watch all sorts of shows and read comics
If you were to write a children’s book, what would it be about?
I would like to write and illustrate a book that teaches children about STEM topics (sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics). The story would, of course, be filled with cute characters and funny scenarios to make the topic more approachable:)
What advice do you have for authors who are working with an illustrator to bring their story to life?
I would advise authors to be specific and clear with their vision. Illustrators are an imaginative bunch for sure, but a focused story, a little guidance and lots of reference photos can really go a long way.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to play video games, play with my dogs, watch a few shows and do personal illustration work.
What type of content are you into right now?
In terms of shows, I enjoy a lot of Japanese anime like Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan and One Punch Man, and similarly themed video games, like Genshin Impact as well as lighter games like Sky: Children of Light.
I also enjoy reading books in science, philosophy and history like Noah Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus, The Shallows by Nicholas Carr and The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan.
Learn more about Tellwell’s children’s book publishing packages and custom design and illustration services.