Break out the fingerpaints for a giggling-good color
palette. With children, the best way to learn is to
play. And the same principle can be applied to kidfriendly
color schemes. Cheery, bright and snappy
palettes that shout “Recess!” will bring out the most
smiles for your projects. For childlike inspiration,
look to cartoons from the Disney corporation or the
Looney Tunes as illustrator Janell Genovese does for
her youthful creations.
“For style,” Genovese turns to “cartoons that
I grew up with, along with the old Little Golden
Books. For color, I look to European children’s
clothing catalogs that are a little more daring with
their color combinations.” Genovese’s works have
appeared in Nick Jr. magazine, American Girl, Family
Fun, Parenting, Teen and the book Sienna’s Scrapbook
Genovese’s lighthearted illustrations include
children, animals and families and are typically
whimiscal, both hip and retro, and always colorful.
“I choose colors that are bright and cheerful, but not
primary colors,” says Genovese. “Not much black or
white is used. I tend to use colors that I like to have
around me in everyday life. If I could, I would have
more rooms in my house in the color palette I use
in my illustrations.” As a mother of three, Genovese
gets direct feedback straight from her audience.
“They will be happy to tell me if the colors look cool
or if they look yucky,” she confides.
For the breakfast piece, Genovese
worked in Freehand on the computer. She works digitally
about 20 percent of the time, with the majority
of her work done in gouache on paper.
Handwritten fonts are
great for displaying
youthful or energetic
designs. Revisit your
childhood with Andy
(young) and Scratch
(active) at www.fonts.com. Find your inner
tyke with Fingerpaint
Little Insect (carefree)
Mix bright, bouncy
colors for hopping
patterns and textures.
Recall days gone by
with retro patterns.
Treat yourself and
your projects to the
tasty colors of your
For more inspiration,
see pg. 32 of the print issue for reviews
of children’s books,
Spin and Sparkle
and Tickets to Ride