About the book

Picture this

by Andy Sellick (illustrator)

Drawing the illustrations (as everyone else grandly refers to them, I still think of them as drawings or cartoons) for Dr. Peeling's Principles of Management was a long process. From start to finish, it took something over a whole year (including full time work and the rest of my life that occasionally took priority). Describing it all would take longer than most people's attention spans for reading a webpage, so I'm going to try to summarise a bit.

The first 'official' drawing of the characters as they began. Although the drawing is crude, the essence of the characters is already noticeable.
The first 'official' drawing of the characters as they began. Although the drawing is crude, the essence of the characters is already noticeable.

When Nic asked me to do the illustrations for his book I was quite surprised, and quite impressed at his confidence in me. I was even more surprised when I showed him some early concepts and he actually liked them (I thought they were rubbish). Up until that point all he'd really seen of my 'artistic ability' was a couple of sketches I'd done at work and some image work I'd done on computer. I'm not a professional artist. I got a D for GCSE art and mostly gave up at that point. Since then most of the arty stuff I've done has been on computers, in the form of various websites that I've knocked together over the years. But as my parents and probably several of my past teachers and lecturers will testify, I've always been fond of doodling in the margin.

A dozing prototype character

I quickly realised that there is a world of difference between sketching cartoon characters on a bit of paper in an idle moment and producing a set of drawings to appear in a book. For starters you have to design characters. Fortunately Nic had a good idea of what he wanted. Then you have to draw those characters, again, and again, and again. And again. Then there are unforseen difficulties. At a random point, about halfway through the total time it took to complete the project, my drawing style settled into what now appears in the book. Unfortunately it was quite distinct from my earlier work, and I found myself effectively starting from scratch, re-drawing most of the pictures I'd done up until that point.

Another prototype character

It was a long and sometimes difficult process (you may marvel at the amount of effort demonstrated by the following pages that eventually led to a mere 42 drawings), but I'm glad I did it (how often do you get a chance in life to have something published?). I'm still hoping that the book will eventually reach bookshops in the UK, so I can loiter innocently in the management section, asking passing sales assistants if they can recommend any good management books with pictures.