When choosing the topic of my next post, I always ask myself a question: will this be useful to my visitors? Will it provide them with an idea or insight that will help them sell more books, learn something or be happier? Will it at least give them a chuckle? The only exception to the rule is when I need your help, which you so generously provide.

Why is why I have to admit it: There’s no other reason for this post than the fact that I’m giggling like a school girl whose crush has invited them to the prom. You see, my illustrator friend, Dimitris Fousekis, just sent me some illustrations from our upcoming children’s books, Musiville and Little Monster, and I just had to share!

To understand my giddiness, you must understand the process of working with an artist. First, you sit down and come up with ideas for the characters and scenes to be illustrated. A first draft is produced.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

We select a character for further development, and I offer feedback… which Dimitris ignores for a few days. I get impatient. I bite my nails. I call him daily. I plead and I threaten. I throw a tantrum. I’m left in the dark for a few weeks, while he works away. In the end, he calls up and says, “how come you haven’t said anything about the illustrations I’ve sent you? They’ve been sitting in your Dropbox for over a week (naturally, I’m convinced he does this on purpose).

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

I check the new design, and the cycle is repeated. A few tantrums and a string of pleas and threats later, we end up with the final version – in this case, a banner starring Rhimaraca, one of Musiville’s characters, for use on my blog.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Stunning, right? Even better, he has now produced not one, but five such banners, featuring characters from our upcoming stories:

And that makes me profess my undying love to him and his work and makes it all worthwhile.

Who’s this Dimitris Fousekis chap?

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksI met Dimitris back when I was 12, as we were neighbors. We hit if off immediately, and became fast friends. His feedback inspired me to turn Runaway Smile into a book, back in 2012.

Born in 1966 in Tripoli, Libya, to Greek parents, Dimitris grew up in Rome, Italy and Athens, Greece. He studied Geology at the University of Athens. During his studies, he illustrated various Paleontology-related theses and projects.

Between 1992 and 1997 he worked for the Ministry of Culture, illustrating the objects unearthed during the Athens Metro construction.

Since 1997, he has freelanced with various design agencies, advertising companies and publishing houses. He has also illustrated for two musems – one in Papigo, Pilio (WWF) and one in Tinos (Marble Museum).

He is a member of the design group Parachute Font and collaborates regularly with Yalos Branding. His latest projects include the co-creation of Fuzzylon.

Since 2003, he has increasingly focused on children’s books illustrations. He has already published a number of children’s books (nine so far, with a number of further titles currently under work).

Since 2010 he has lived permanently on the island of Hydra, where he teaches painting and has had his first exhibition.

You can find Dimitris on:

Web: http://www.dimitrisfousekis.com

and see his work on my children’s book, Runaway Smile, for free!

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