In the studio with Mike Lowery, illustrator of America’s National Parks – Lonely Planet’s travel blog

Mike sketching in his studio (or among three coffee shops) © Mike Lowery

For an avid traveller and US National Park enthusiast, Mike Lowery jumped at the chance to offer the examples for our Lonely Planet Children title, America’s National Parks. Here the artist talks us through how he came up with his designs to the publication, his journey to becoming a professional illustrator and also the special challenges that include working on a job which arouses severe wanderlust.

Inform us about the short

As soon as I got a question from Lonely Planet asking if I would be interested in working on a brand new children’s name, America’s National Parks, I said yes instantly. As an avid runner, I have been a massive fan of Lonely Planet for many years, I have completed one with me because my very first trip abroad to Japan in my ancient 20s. My wife and I have two children and we have been attempting to create our US vacations concentrated around National Parks! Therefore it was a perfect match.

The method by which in which the job was pitched to me personally was fairly easy; I had been requested to draw fun animations all around the webpage layouts the Art Director had set together, which is exactly what I did!

How can you create a beginning?

I began by reading through the manuscript to have the feel of this publication. It was lively, which enabled me to be lively with my own illustrations. It had plenty of photos of those animals, monuments and natural characteristics found in each of the parks, which enabled me to be looser with the manner which I attracted things, because it was being represented virtually in the publication.

Before I made some sketches, I revisited some sketchbook journal drawings out of a couple of those National Parks I’ve actually seen. In this manner I could recall a few of the facets that really stood out for me once I had been there. I maintain a daily journal in a sketchbook to keep tabs on excursions that I move on. I record things I enjoy from the excursions, such as exactly what we ate or bizarre sights, which come in useful for study.

Then I assemble a list of things in the parks, like plants and creatures, before printing out the pages which had been laid out and began making rough sketches onto them. After the roughs were accepted, I transferred to demonstrating the finals.

Were there any challenges?

I moved a little slower using this novel than various other jobs because I kept getting sidetracked reading regarding the parks. It is kind of hard to sit down at a studio and draw if you are pouring over stunning pictures of the fantastic outdoors. In reality, halfway through working on the publication, I ended up flying out to Mt Rainier National Park and began planning a trip to eventually visit Yellowstone National Park at 2019! )

What is the 1 thing on your studio you can not live without?

My wife (who’s also an illustrator) and that I share a studio, so I would begin with saying . But, the sweet response is most likely my pc, I figure. It has become a significant part of my procedure, and that I may not have noticed the email asking if I want to work on the publication with no. The 1 art source I could not live without in my studio would be mechanical pens.

How can you get into displaying novels?

I studied Graphic Design and Fine Art (drawing and painting ). Gradually my layout work and also my gallery work began getting exactly the identical thing, and that is how I found that the world of illustration. In my first 20so I began sending out a lot of samples of my job to various publishers and one of these (Penguin/Putnam) sent me an email asking when I would be interested in displaying a book about a gingerbread person and I have been working on novels ever since!

After demonstrating other people’s manuscripts for such a long time, I started showing and writing my own novels. Last year my set of diary drawings of weird-but-true facts called Random Illustrated Truth hit the shelves, along with also my most recent launch is Slightly Jet Lagged: The Travel Sketchbooks of Mike Lowery.

Where on earth do you typically work out of?

I am generally working in a coffee shop somewhere near Decatur at Atlanta, USA. There are just three which I rotate working at so that they do not get upset with me sitting in there. In addition, I have a studio in my home I work out of also. When I am not in the US I am frequently operating in Völksen, a tiny city in Germany where my spouse is from. Her father lives in an old farmhouse and we have got an area setup upstairs where we could draw and that I worked on lots of the book while at that home.

Follow Mike’s daily drawings in @mikelowerystudio.

Mike’s examples

‘Bats of Carlsbad Caverns’ preparatory sketch
The Last example for Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, USA
Mike’s overlay examples of Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Mike’s daily sketchbook if he visited National Parks on a visit out of Nevada through Utah
The front cover examples of America’s National Parks
Mike’s sketch of Völksen at Germany where he sketched a lot of America’s National Parks

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