This week on the blog, I am excited to have my very first illustrator guest post from the award-winning and prolific illustrator Nicole Tadgell. Her latest book is Friends for Freedom, a non-fiction picture book which centers on the friendship between civil rights activists Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (my review to be posted soon).
As part of the guest post, Nicole sent me a few early sketches as well as some of her final artwork. Enjoy!
Illustrating famous historical figures for children’s books is a big project! Fortunately, I enjoy the research, I love pretending I’m in different times. Sometimes I worry that kids might not find the lives of famous historical figures to be interesting, but I am constantly reassured when I visit schools, libraries and book fairs and see kids looking at and reading my books with great interest.
The artwork for Friends for Freedom is done in watercolor, with gold and purple as key colors. I love the way those colors go together. I found a photo in my research that showed Miss Anthony in a plaid dress with purple and brown colors, which she described in detail in a letter to her mother.
Friendship is a universal bond, and kids today can certainly appreciate the value of friendship. This book gives readers more insight into the lives of Frederick Dougalss and Susan B. Anthony, making them more relatable just because of their friendship.
Thanks for sharing all these wonderful images, Nicole!
About the Illustrator:
Suzanne Slade (left) and Nicole Tadgell (right)
Nicole Tadgell is the award-winning illustrator of In the Garden with Dr. Carver and First Peas to the Table. She enjoys bringing life to historical books with her loose pencil and watercolor illustrations.