There are advantages to being an illustrator when you create a picture book. I took a class from the writer Barbara Williams years ago. She wrote “Albert’s Toothache”. This was published with two different illustrators. The link will take you to the Kay Chorao edition. Bea gave me a stuffed turtle to celebrate the second publishing. She was an amazing writer and mentor. She helped us long after the class with a critique group that nurtured our creative spirits. She was a great lady and became a great friend. Because of her class, I came from the creation of a picture book, thinking you started with the words.
Later on I took a workshop from Eric Rohmann, the illustrator and creator of the picture book, “My Friend Rabbit” and many others. He created picture books starting with the pictures and working to the words. My work has now evolved where the book becomes a living, growing process. I work back and forth between the words and the illustrations, bouncing back and forth and changing both as the book evolves. The book dummy becomes a process for the perfecting of the story and goes through many stages. With each stage, the book evolves and grows until it reaches the place where it can be sent out into the world to find a home.
Here are a couple of character studies from the book I’m creating now. I’m getting to know the character and just what makes him interesting, emotionally and visually.