I just completed the artwork for the book 6 in the Pirate School series, which will be released in May of 2008. It was a fun project, with a few challenges and new discoveries.
One of the major challenges, from an artistic standpoint, is that I had to complete the cover art before the manuscript was complete. Consequently, I pictured one of the new characters as short. However, when I received the manuscript and the assignment for the interior art, I found that that author described that character as being "bigger than Pete", the series' main character! Uh-oh.
Well, I was able to address this issue with some creative composing of the illustrations in which the new character is pictured. By keeping this character in the foreground, I was able to keep his proportions the same (so that he matched the cover), but avoided showing him in direct proportion to other characters. This means that he was pictured larger than other characters, and also gave the illustrations greater visual depth. This illusion helped to cover up the discrepancies between the descriptive sentence in the manuscript, and the cover artwork.
I found that addressing this challenge was exciting, in that it allowed me to use my design skills to do more than just interpret a scene, but also to solve a problem. The result is a batch of drawings that I feel proud of, and that meets the client's illustration needs.