The Monster Twins is a truly family affair, inspired by our daughter's colourful monster drawings, which she has been creating since she was very young, and our travels to amazing places around the world. Robert (dad) wrote the copy and Ella (the daughter) and Karen (mum) drew the illustrations and designed the pages.
Whilst Ella is an illustrator and animation student, for mum and dad, this was the first time we'd taken on a creative project. The book was hand-drawn on an iPad Pro using ProCreate, and you would be surprised how many steps it took - we were! - before the story, designs and characters were ready for digital drawing.
Starting with the characters, we had to think about how many there would be, what they would look like and what their personalities would be like. We researched colours and expressions to make sure they looked and felt how we saw their characters. Finally, we sketched every cast member, with each sketch taking many hours.
Once we had created the characters, we mapped out each page and brought every scene to life by drawing them by hand. Ella is fascinated by architecture, so we tried to incorporate buildings and landmarks we thought parents and children might know, and definitely would find interesting.
Many landmarks featured in the book are from photos we took on our travels. This is the Walkie Talkie building (or 20 Fenchurch Street) in the City of London. On the top floor is the Sky Garden, a beautiful floral oasis open to the public with spectacular views across the Thames.
Once we were happy with the sketched page, we then hand-drew it again on an iPad Pro, using ProCreate, adding the bright colours that really bring the pages to life.
Every page followed this same process, and every page took lots and lots of editing to make sure everything was just the way we wanted it. We are pleased and proud to share The Monster Twins with you, and we hope you enjoy reading the book over and over, as much as we enjoyed creating it as a family.