In the Studio with Lucy Fleming
last updated 23 February 2023
We chatted with Lucy Fleming about her latest project GOOD NIGHT, SISTER, which hit bookshelves on February 7th, 2023. Published by Penguin Workshop, this adorable bedtime story focuses on the special bond that sisters share! Lucy shares with us her personal connection to this story and how that helped to create her illustrations. Check it out!
I was delighted to have been contacted by Penguin Random House about Katherine Schwartzenegger-Pratt’s upcoming children’s book, ‘Good Night, Sister’. The idea of a book that celebrated sisterly bonds resonated with me & reminded me of my close relationship with my own sister. I began by sketching the characters for the book, this is the perfect opportunity to try and explore how the characters’ individual personality can be expressed visually, in the way that they move, stand or even down to their clothing choices.
Kat is the older sister, and Tina the younger. I wanted to try and get across that older sister sensibility in Kat’s character that’s nurturing, protective possibly slightly bossy too. And for Tina, well, I’m a younger sister too so I know how much we can annoy an older sibling - but we rely on their guidance too. Tina would be more shy and reserved.
The book takes place mostly at night, so the girls would need to be wearing cosy pyjamas and slippers. Clothes are some of my favourite things to design when I’m developing characters. I often look at popular trends or Pinterest to find my inspiration for patterns and motifs. I sketched the characters on my iPad using Procreate, and began developing options their day clothes and colour palettes. I wanted Kat and Tina to have their own individual colours, they would influence their clothes and bedrooms.
I began exploring the cover ideas with guidance from the art director, Julia Rosenfield. We then began developing ideas for the interior pages. The challenge was to make the book feel dreamy and, even though it is set at night, it was important that the palette felt light and wistful. In the end we settled on a soft lavender colour that ran through the book - the perfect sleepy recipe.
I began colouring the interior spreads using a mix of Procreate and Photoshop. I do most of my artwork digitally these days but I try to include some painterly or scribbled texture to the art. The story has themes of growing up, and growing apart - which I feel a lot of families can relate to. It was a privilege to have created the artwork for Good Night, Sister.
Thank so much Lucy for taking the time to chat with us! Keep an eye out for GOOD NIGHT, SISTER which is now available at all booksellers! Lucy Fleming is represented by Freddie Dawson. To work with Lucy, please get in touch with Freddie here.