i have come across the illustrator and author Lane Smith many times, but actually it was my mum that kindly sent me an article from the sunday telegraph magazine that featured a book by Lane Smith called “it’s a book!”. She initially told me about the book as she is a real hater of technology and the way it is taking over the world, and mentioned this book as it is ” a Book is about a book loving monkey, a tech savvy jackass and a straight talking little mouse.” (http://curiouspages.blogspot.com/2010/07/lane-smith-on-its-book.html) and it tackles the issue of books versus computer technology, and by using humour it  shows how the world does seem to be going slightly mad!!!!

For me, and for my impending dissertation, this book, and the author, will prove to be very interesting – my dissertation being based on the move towards computer technology and away from traditional book reading, with particular reference to the bed time story – and the effect this is having on children today.I intend to contact Lane and see if he would be kind enough for me to interview him on the topic.

I like the simplicity of this book, and i like the simple images he uses, but then enhances them with the use of Photoshop (the use of which could be seen as being slightly ironic, possibly?) but he admits himself that this does speed up the creative process greatly.He starts off his drawings using ink and a brush, but he continually wipes his brush so that it gives a dry brush effect when drawing:-

(all images taken from Lanes blog – http://curiouspages.blogspot.com/2010/07/lane-smith-on-its-book.html.More of his wonderful work can be seen at http://www.lanesmithbooks.com

Lane Smiths image from “it’s a book” – before colouring

He then uses oils on Hot pressed illustration board, and sprays them with acrylic spray whilst the oils are still wet, which then creates lovely textures. He then scans them into Photoshop and uses the textures in the images.

It was interesting to read that initially, the first copy of the book was based on a goofy looking boy, but Lane decided not to use this image as he didn’t want readers to think he was making fun of a child, so he then decided to use animals instead.

original character for the bookLane felt these images may make readers think he was making fun of children, so he changed it to an animal instead.

Here is a you tube video of the book – interesting that the video is so enjoyable – as i am sure the book is – but they both bring something different to the reader or viewer…hmmmmm interesting hey?

the final images - showing the 'textures' used