Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fairy Friendly Rebecca Jordan-Glum

I love a good fairy tale. There are a lot of artists that do create art for fairy tales, but few do it so well as Rebecca Jordan-Glum. Rebecca creates vividly magical scenes in her illustrations. When she's not doing fantasy, Rebecca still creates magic in her wonderfully expressive illustrations.

Dani: What would the child you think about the work you are doing today?

Rebecca: I think the child me would be quite surprised! I grew up in a house full of bookworms and have always been an avid reader but it never really crossed my mind to want to actually make books. I've always felt that books were a bit magical and I enjoyed being the reader so much that it has been a bit of a switch to have to learn the nuts and bolts of constructing a book myself. I enjoy it tremendously, but it IS work. I think as I child I thought that books just appeared, fully formed and perfect. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are a LOT of people involved in creating a book and the amount of editing that goes on is enormous. I spend a lot of time doing revisions and rewrites and there is nothing magical about that.

Dani: What are your favorite fairy tales and which one would you most want to illustrate?

Rebecca: Perhaps Hansel and Gretel, which was one of my favorite fairy tales as a child. The contrast of the little children lost in a dark wood and the allure of the candy house is quite striking. It's very Willy Wonka-ish now that I think about it...
I'd enjoy illustrating any of the Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen tales, really.

Dani: How did you prepare for the illustrations you did for "A Fairy Tale"?

Rebecca: A Fairy Tale is a Fairy Tale about... Fairies. My initial preparation involved me sketching out a lot of different fairies and doing some color studies of bedrooms. I wasn't sure what I wanted the book to look like but after I did my initial studies of character and scene, I discovered two things that I knew I DIDN'T want. I try and stay away from stereotypes, so I didn't want the book to be done in blues (as I discovered almost every nighttime bedroom picture book is done in) and I didn't want my fairies to be ultra-thin pale little waifs. After I knew what I didn't want the book to include, I set about coming up with characters that reflected the beautiful and ethnically diverse children that I see around me every day, and designing a non-stereotyped room that celebrated the brilliant minds of girls. I don't really approve of all the princess-worship that our culture participates in. I think girls are bold, powerful, and curious— so I included a fairy reading a book about Sacajawea, a bookshelf that includes books on physics, and I tacked up a homemade kite and a poster on the aerodynamics of flight.

Dani: What is it that inspires you?

Rebecca: Great work from other people. Interesting ideas. My family.
I am driven to connect with people through my work. As an artist, art truly is my most effective form of communication. I find that I always feel a bit misunderstood until I draw or paint a picture of what I am thinking. People can take one look and instantly understand something that I was struggling to get across through other means.

Dani: Is there anything more you'd like to share with those creating their dummies?

Rebecca: Prepare to edit, edit and EDIT! Creating a dummy is just the beginning of the journey. Get your ideas down and then be open to changes. You'll be asked to revise it by agents and/or editors and then even after it is sold, it will need to be revised again and again at the publishing house.


Follow Rebecca:

Website: www.JordanArtandDesign.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JordanArtDesign

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JordanARTandDESIGN


  1. I love your pictures and the concepts behind them! My daughter (an avid anti-princessionista) will too! :-)

  2. I love artists who try to stay away from stereotypes. I need try try a little harder myself.

    1. I like to do an exercise where I sketch out my first thoughts on a project. I find that I immediately go to the obvious. After I get those drawings out of my system, I begin again, avoiding everything that came out in the first round. Digging deeper brings some unexpected results!!!

  3. I have to remember this: surprise your audience. So true!