Interview with Ben Norland
Here are a couple of snippets I found particularly interesting.
How he came to work with Walker Books:
"Whilst I was studying I had been freelancing on and off at Walker Books, doing a little basic design work and getting what amounted to an apprenticeship in book design under the tutelage of Walker's Art Director, Amelia Edwards."
How lucky! I wish I could have found some kind of opportunity like this while I was in school, or even in the years after. Maybe some people are just in the right place at the right time near the right people.
How should a great dummy book be presented?
If the potential of the book is great, then frankly the dummy doesn’t need to be especially amazing. I would be impressed by a black and white sketch dummy (that wasn't too fancy or finished), one sample piece of finished art, and a sheet or two or really well developed character studies for the folks in the story. That last item is something you don’t see so often, but it really does make an enormous difference in getting an understanding of what an illustrator’s potential might be.
I think the character studies are a great idea. I would never think to put anything less than finished artwork in my portfolio- but then again, dummy books aren't finished artwork. I should get to work!