Making O’Reilly Animals

Like many others, I, too, have wondered about the reasoning behind O’Reilly Media’s animal-themed book covers. While it doesn’t reveal all, this article describes the history of, and the creative process behind, O’Reilly’s iconic covers.

Lorrie tries to imbue her illustrations with the historical, somewhat less-than-accurate style of the old Dover engravings. Her technique has evolved with each project’s demands and through trial and error. Each animal presents its own unique complexities. She was recently commissioned to draw a dragon for an O’Reilly retail bookstore promotion. This was her first illustration of a mythical creature. She pored over Asian art books for anything with images of dragons–lacquer boxes, kimonos, silk screens–to help her draw samples.