Lala and the Enchanted Cloak Children’s Book

Lala and the Enchanted Cloak is a magical tale about a curious little girl, a mysterious cloak, and the heartwarming adventures they embark on together. 

Written by Meanne Mabesa Mijares and published by Vibal Group in September 2018, this story teaches young children that true generosity doesn’t expect anything in return.

Children's Book Cover Illustration of Lala and the Enchanted Cloak for Vibal Publishing by Jeca Martinez

CHARACTER DESIGN

We began this project by designing the main character Lala, and her enchanted cloak. The author described Lala as a slightly chubby Filipina girl with long black hair and bangs, and the magical cloak as dark blue with gold stars all over it.

For the color choices, I gave Lala this shirt dress— which I imagined was loose and comfortable enough for her to play with— in a bright orange color that contrasts the cool blues of the enchanted cloak, which helps indicate a transformation whenever Lala puts on the cloak.

And with some white “tsinelas” (a common household footwear for Filipinos), and a white hair ribbon for extra childlike charm, Lala’s look is complete!

As for the cloak, I gave it a nice gradient color going from blue to purple, with stars and moons in gold stitching for added magical flair, and a red lining to— again— add an interesting contrast of colors.

Since the cloak’s origin is mysterious, I imagined that the constellations stitched on it were from another galaxy and weren’t exactly actual known constellations. As a subtle finishing touch, the twinkle in Lala’s eyes also become star-shaped every time she wears the cloak.

Once we nailed the character design, we then moved on to the book cover and story illustrations! 

SKETCHES

I sent out two options for the book cover: the one on the left that is more playful and dynamic to match Lala’s vibrant personality, while the one on the right is quiet to give the cover a more mystical, mysterious atmosphere.

The one on the left (which is also my fave) was chosen!

Sketches of the select story illustrations

COLOR COMPOSITION

I wanted to use color as a tool to help convey the mood and tell the story, while at the same time create a beautiful rainbow effect as the story progresses (I thought this would also make it fun to flip the edges of the book!)

The base color composition consists of a gradient starting with warm orange (for the introductory scenes), mysterious blues and purples (for when Lala discovers the cloak), calming greens and light blues (for Lala’s adventures with the cloak), ending with a bright yellow (for the conclusion).

FINAL RESULT

Overall I’m super proud of how the book turned out! Having the author Ms Meanne express her appreciation for my work, and seeing people enjoy the book during the launch, brings me the ultimate satisfaction as the illustrator!

I also have a YouTube video that shows the entire design process of this project, as well as a timelapse of the cover illustration, and highlights from the book launch event here:

Lala and the Enchanted Cloak is available in National Bookstore, and online via Vibal Group’s Facebook page!


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