Having graduated from Middlesex’s Illustration BA just last year YUNROO TAN has already gone on to illustrate her first picture.
‘GRANDMA AND THE THINGS THAT STAY THE SAME‘ was published earlier this year by Epigram Books. Written by Eve Aw, this engaging and humorous story explores the relationship between a girl and her grandmother. Every year at the reunion dinner Grandma will ask the same questions and through these we see how this sameness amidst our ever-changing environment makes home and family all the more precious.
“Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same” is my first big project out of uni. I have a friend who’s working in a publishing company, and she came across one of my drawings that I’ve uploaded on Instagram, which she liked a lot. She then introduced my works to the editors and they felt that my illustrations would make a great fit with the story they have in hand at that time, so that’s how I’ve gotten the job!
The whole project lasted for about five months, with emails back and fro from the editors and art directors. This is my first project dealing with people from the industry, and to be honest, it was pretty daunting in the beginning. I quickly learned that illustrating a book is a collaboration between many parties, as sometimes a lot of people has a say in the illustration, for example the art director, the author, the editor and the director of the publishing company. It can get confusing sometimes as well, as there are different opinions, but by the end of the day what everyone wanted was just a “perfect” book that’s getting published.
I’m ever so grateful to the team at Epigram Books for giving me this great opportunity to work with them, and to illustrate this wonderful book. In the process, I’ve learnt quite a great deal in terms of the procedure of illustrating a published book- what works and what doesn’t, and the way of dealing with an art director and editor. These experiences are really valuable to me, and I think they prepared me well for the projects that I’ve landed afterwards.
Epigram Books named ‘Grandma’ their Book of the Month for March;
Find more of Yunroo’s work online: