This is a detail of an illustration from Bears on the Stairs, showing the big bear outside the little boy’s bedroom door. On the left is how it appears in the book, on the right is my artwork. As you can see, on my original pastel drawing, the ‘MY ROOM’ wording is missing:
It is vital that all text is left off the original drawings, to allow for translations. Any words are added later, so they can be changed with ease and minimal expense.
Notice too, that the added wording is almost always black, like the main story text. This also keeps costs down – everything that might need translating is printed as a single, black layer on top of the colour.
Because I use pastels, I like to create any text which is part of an illustration myself, so it has the same texture as my pastel paper, otherwise the words appear to ‘float’ above the picture. Below is a detail of the Jungle Monopoly board from Stinky! and a close up of the wording on the box:
I drew the word ‘Jungle’ on my computer. I am able to scan in the textured paper I use for my illustrations, then draw on this ‘virtual’ paper with ‘virtual’ black pastel, so it looks just like the real thing and blends seamlessly when it’s placed over my illustration.
(Illustrations from Bears on the Stairs published by Andersen Press and Stinky! published by Gullane Children’s Books)