Part 2 - Writing
Part 3 - Thumbnails
Part 4 - Character Design
Part 5 - Roughs
Part 6 - Finals
Although it feels like I'm just getting started in my illustration career (will it ever stop feeling that way?) I've actually been doing it for quite a while now, over 7 years in fact. I've had many fun projects along the way but it has begun to feel like I was over due in focusing in on my big goal of becoming a published picture book illustrator.
|Inspirations for my picture book dummy|
Alas, the only offers I've received for children's book illustration have been from self publishers. While I'm quite flattered by the offers, I also want to be paid for my work since that's the professional part in professional illustrator. So I felt it was a good time to start creating my own picture book. A couple things helped me come to this conclusion.
|Two pieces that I created for Turtle Magazine|
Secondly, my daughter. Even cornier, but hear me out. Now that she's two I've been reading many more picture books than ever before. I've done some rough math:
(3 books/bedtime + 1.5 books/naptime) x 365 days = 1642.5 readings per year
So I've become quite immersed in picture books lately and have learned a lot of what I like and don't like in them. I'll get more into this in my next post.
For a long while she was on a huge Little Critter by Mercer Mayer kick. It helped that my wife had about 20 of these books left over from her childhood. I love them too. They have a great balance between pictures and text. The text tells Little Critter's version of the story and the pictures show the reality. It's a wonderful dichotomy. I got to thinking "I could do something like that!". This was a HUGE revelation because I've never been very confident as a writer. I've always found writing too, well, literal. Illustrating allows me to tell a story in a more open-ended way which is what I love about it. Reading the Little Critter books began me thinking about telling two versions of the same story and it seemed like a really fun idea.
This really freed me up since I could focus on telling a story with pictures, and then use the text to give it a second dimension. I already had a story in mind as well about a girl having a pet tiger. This came from my daughter having a tiger puppet, El Tigre, as her favourite stuffie toy. What I liked most about this idea was the contrast between a big hulking tiger and a tiny little girl who was kind of the boss of him. So now I had my concept and an idea of how I wanted to execute it. All that was left was everything else!
The next steps of writing, thumb-nailing, character designing, roughing, and finalizing will be covered in subsequent blog posts. The next post will be about my writing process which I think was a little unconventional. So please check back, I'll be posting a new one each Wednesday. Or follow me on twitter, @marcuscutler and I can remind you there.
Part 2 - Writing