Tuesday, 9 August 2011

answer to another question

To answer the question from an illustrator working mostly for the educational market - How do I break into the trade market?
This could be a discussion that could take days and many cups of earl grey tea - there is so many essential bits and pieces – then there is also the magical - being in the right place at the right time.
Basically It has to do with a mind change, illustrating happens in your mind not on the paper.
You need to take your illustrations into the next level. Away from stereotyping, away from minimulising because of a time restrain.
So… Spend the time and really look at the trade books – try and find out what gives some picture books that magical feel. Why they stand out from other books?

Join children’s book organisations like SCBWI (Society of children’s book writers and illustrators ) http://www.scbwi.org/
Attend conferences -http://springevent2011-scbwi-sa.blogspot.com/
Attend SCBWI SA events and get-togethers - get onto the mailing list so that you can get the circulars about upcoming events http://www.scbwi.za.org/
Attend Illustration workshops and courses -
I’m giving a children’s book illustration course for the 2011 CCIBA Creative Workshops to be held from 5 – 9 September 2011 at the Stellenbosch University Department of Visual Arts - http://www.cciba.sun.ac.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16&Itemid=20

Perhaps at one of the SCBWI SA events we can talk more about… how do I break into the trade market?

Websites that are really useful

Here are a number of websites with info on writing & illustrating and submitting work to publishers - good luck

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Answering a question

In answer to a question I was asked on Facebook on my media and method I use when illustrating picture books.

To share a few notes on the technique and materials I currently enjoy using when I illustrate a children’s picture book: After completing a full set of rough pencil drawings and sorting out the design and layout of the book, I like to choose a specific paper that would suit the atmosphere of the story best. Generally I find that a fast-paced story wants a rougher paper, whereas an intimate, quiet story benefits from a smoother, fine paper on which I can do much more detailed work. I then redraw the illustration onto the selected paper, often using a light box. Next I paint a wash onto the illustration area of the page and finish the detailed drawing with crayons over the wash.

I use Caran d’Ache ‘Neocolor II Aquarelle’ oil pastels. Three makes of paper that work well for me are Canson Mi-teintes 160g/m2, Fabriano 4 Liscio 220g/m2 and Bainbridge Coquille Bristol #2. I like the last one best...

To add to that - I do not stretch my paper but using a big brush, I brush the paper lightly with a thin layer of water before starting to work with the wash of paint then let it dry completely before starting to work with the crayons. The crayons I use is water-soluble so from time to time I would smooth an area done with crayon with a wet brush

A tip - use very good quality paper - the cheaper paper disintegrate and bugle very quickly

And there is also an article I wrote on
on illustrating the picture book - Nina and Little Duck
The article is called THE MIND OF AN ILLUSTRATOR (August 2008)
Hope you will go and read it!