Don’t tell anyone, but illustrations might actually be my favorite part of books. (Says the Word Nerd!) There’s something about beautiful visual images that still holds a magical power over me. The vibrant colors! The glossy pages! The creative designs! I could spend hours losing myself in the picture book section of any bookstore or library, and have admittedly purchased my fair share of stories based simply on their stunning illustrations.
As an author, seeing my characters come to life on the page has absolutely been the coolest part of the publication process. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with two fabulously talented artists. You all know Tim Heitz from Game Face fame. Now, I’m thrilled to introduce you to the brilliant illustrator behind the whimsical Odd Job images, Elena Napoli!
The Odd Job characters are not an easy bunch. It’s ghost stories, right? Naturally, the illustrations needed to spooky. But these particular ghost stories were written for younger readers, so we had to be careful not to cross into the “nightmare-zone.” Enter Elena!
A freelance illustrator and character designer, Elena grew up in the robust Italian art scene. After earning her degree in Florence, Elena honed her artistic style, which mixes traditional and digital techniques with various mediums such as watercolor and ecoline. She has created artwork for a variety of genres, including concept art for animation studios and video games, graphic design, and, of course, book illustrations. Her versatile style and curiosity allow her to adapt and evolve into ever-expanding artistic fields.
This versatility is on full display in Odd Jobs! With her whimsical designs, Elena created a Tim Burton-esque collection of engaging illustrations that jump from the page and grab the reader’s attention, while still letting them sleep peacefully at night.
Here are some favorites of Ella, Great Aunt Raven, and the spook-tacular Odd Jobs cast:
Elena, I am truly honored to have your artwork grace the pages of my stories. Thank you for putting your passion, energy, and talent into these illustrations. I will cherish them always!
Check out more of Elena’s artwork on Instagram, Patreon, and her blog.
Want a set for your home library? Let me know!