Just in time for a fresh Spring renewing! When I was in NYC last, on the second day of Spring, I met with editorial director Jeannette Larson of HMH trade, among others. She uttered a phrase that has just stayed with me ever since and I had to share it with you all here: the look being sought for is generally “spare and fresh!” And I totally got that concept! I’ve noticed this with almost all my visits with clients…especially for the very young, and picture books. Not only do they need strong characters, and a layered story that will be revisited many times, but they want a clean, new, approachable look in the style of art. Less saturation of color often, less texture (though that can play an interesting part in even a’ spare’ approach.) Negative space (or “white space”) plays an important role…and must be respected. Buyers want to see energy and a more spontaneous line generally…but not messy or careless. Control is there, but comfortably and with sense of movement that fits the story illustrated.
There is much interest now again in the non fiction market due to the Standard Core for schools moving in this direction for all ages. Realistic, historic artists may again see more work possible….but also more unique, FUN styles, and those with humor, might see increased interest as the non-fiction is approached in a more …… (continue below Patrice Barton’s spring ‘Spare and Fresh’ visual……) …..accessible manner. But again the “spare and fresh” approach is a good mantra….it allows the viewer to get ‘into’ the art, gleam much from it, and bring their own understanding and interpretation into the work viewed. Less busy, but with all the important details…clear and understandable. Rather like Spring itself….a fresh look at a world we thought we knew!