Sometimes children will write to me and ask if I ever make mistakes when I’m creating illustrations. There are no mistakes, I explain. It is all useful in some way; all a part of the creative process. However, it is true that some pictures don’t belong in a book, for one reason or another. Somebody else might not think so. But for me, it’s a very personal decision and I have high standards for my own work.

Here is an example of alternative art for my book Animals, Animals. The first pelican I created for this book had a dark, brown background.

Many of the pictures that I create for a book, I would say almost a third, don’t make it into the actual book. But this doesn’t mean that the individual pieces are uninteresting or unsuccessful. What matters the most to me is the unity of effect in the entire book; how all of the pictures work together to create a whole feel or flow that is consistent throughout. But even the work I choose not to include is interesting to me and I keep it for archival purposes.

The final art work as you can see, has a much lighter, green background and white space, which you might notice is consistent with many of the pictures in this book.