Below Summer has kindly provided a basic outline of the process for sourcing illustration for her book, some of her requirements, and concepts:
Initially I was looking to use food illustrations in a specific kind of way for the SUGARDETOXME book, but when planning a book, there is always a back-and-forth with the publisher. My publisher loved the idea of illustrations, but we ultimately used them differently than my original idea. However, the style of what I was looking for was fairly specific and need to fit in with my style of photography and also my house, which is where I did all of the recipe photos for the book.
I had done my initial search on Pinterest and Behance, and really narrowed it down to only a few people. Actually, I was surprised I didn’t find more illustrators with the “style” I was looking for. To be more specific, I was looking for illustrations that had a touch of whimsy and that had a “textured” feel, like something that felt like it was done with a watercolor, paint-stroke, or paper texture. There wouldn’t be any shading, so the graphics would be flat and wouldn’t feel 3D. The edges didn’t need to be perfect—as a matter of fact—the imperfect edge felt right, so having a brushed edge. I have an old charming home and my kitchen itself is unfinished, a myriad of houseplants wend their way in and around the stove, so quite frankly anything “too perfect” would feel out of place.
As far as colors go, I was looking for them to be a bit more saturated—but not too saturated. I wanted it to feel natural, nothing too bright or poppy, but still colorful. Again, my home, my food has color—but given that my book is about clean, sugar-free eating, there wasn’t going to be any unnatural hues coming into the illustrations!
Additionally, I knew we would be mixing and matching ingredients, firstly because they’d be added to the Meal Maps in the book, and how I use them in the Meal Maps online, so all the ingredients have to look good next to one another, so uniformity to a certain degree was integral.
This was an absolute dream job and an marvellous opportunity to really stretch myself creatively. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, including illustrating all the kitchen equipment and pantry products, as I haven't illustrated many of those before. Summer very kindly provided me with reference for every ingredient she required as we had such a small window before she presented them to her publishers. This was a huge help as there are many varieties of kale!
As mentioned in Summers quote the 'texture' of the food icons were carefully considered from the outset and we went through several rounds to explore the perfect balance. In the end many of the PS brushes were a mixture from Kylebrush.com and ones I had created previously, that followed to contour of many of the foods to give them more depth.
Summer's book can be purchased from Amazon.com HERE