I recently had the joy of finishing my first fully illustrated children’s book, a Christmas story set in WWII England written by Mitchell Stevens. In the story, a lonely old man finds a way to bring joy and peace to his village, and to himself, in the midst of war.
It was such fun to create the little village from the book and portray it from different angles and in different seasons. Researching the setting in the English countryside and what life was like during the war was half the fun of the illustration process. I loved finding references for the houses, clothes, cars, and even light bulbs of the 1940s.
I also really loved establishing the characters, especially the old man at the center of the story and trying to bring his home to life around him.