Fish, Frogs and Fun for Pearson Australia – Nick Diggory does his ‘thing’.

Well known British illustrator and character designer Nick Diggory, has just been commissioned by Pearson Australia to illustrate seven book covers in their upcoming series of handwriting activity books for Queensland schools called ‘Scribble to Script’. The emphasis was on animals that would be fun and appealing to Grade 1 to 7 students and easily recognisable to Queenslanders.

Reef Fish
Reef Fish

“Working with Pearson is always very straightforward. They tend to know exactly what they want and it’s really just a case of me ‘doing my thing’ and filling all the necessary spaces with pretty pictures. David Doyle, the designer on this project was no exception. A good tight brief and plenty of time to do it, well over a month in fact. But I like to work quickly to keep the characters ‘fresh’ so I turned all seven covers around in a couple of days.”


Common Green Tree Frog
Common Green Tree Frog

“I always supply a number of roughs for each character first. Generally, I’ll sketch something out, live with it for a couple of hours, think about how it could be improved then sketch it out again and again until I’m happy with it. I’ll send the client all my sketches. Sometimes they’ll go for the first version I did which is fine by me. Sometimes it can take dozens of sketches before the final decision is made. I supplied over 120 sketches for one character a while back. The client (or should I say ‘Clients’, as there were a team of six designers all chipping in with suggestions) just couldn’t decide which version they liked. It’s not my job to say which one they should go for, but I did ┬ámake a few suggestions as to which one would probably suit their needs the best and we got there eventually. That was a bit unusual to say the least and a good character building exercise. It’s all part of the service and of course, the client is always right!”


Coral Fish
Coral Fish
First drafts
First drafts
Book 1, Draft 1.
Book 1, Draft 1.

“Retaining my enthusiasm has never been a problem. I did a lot of what you might call ‘unsavoury’ jobs just to make ends meet before becoming a professional illustrator and I really don’t fancy doing them again. Give me a nice warm studio and my dog for company any day!”

Categories: General illustration news