Our man Lesh is Blurb’s in-house illustrator. (Real name: Samuel Leshnick.) Powered by a daily double-toasted “everything” bagel with lox, he hand illustrates all of the backgrounds, borders, and ornaments in BookSmart’s themes. They embody a wide range of moods, esthetics, and subjects, but they all begin the same way. As graphite pencil sketches.
From there, Lesh refines his work in ink and eventually begins a very lengthy digitization process. In his own words, “Illustration is about problem solving.” For example, when it came to BookSmart’s new wedding themes, Lesh had to develop four distinct looks reflecting popular wedding styles. None of the illustrations could feature gradations; he had to create silhouettes. The challenge, once solved, gave way to Flora, Flirty, Baroque, and Deco. They’re so beautiful/hip/irresistible we see people using them for non-wedding books all the time. The Flora images below are an example of Lesh’s illustration process.
Initial Graphite Sketch
India Ink Draft
As it appears in BookSmart
Now you know why we say we don’t use cookie-cutter, store-bought images in BookSmart. Blurbarians have their pick of original, artistic elements.
And thanks to Lesh, we offer hundreds of hand drawn items across 15 themes in BookSmart. He’s a busy guy. And way talented. (And hilariously funny, even tempered, and smart, but we don’t want him to get arrogant, so lets stop there.)
Do you have a favorite theme? Care to suggest one? You can bet Lesh will read your comments and you might see them appear in a future version of BookSmart.