I woke up one morning, took our daughter to daycare, drove an hour in the car to my part time advertising job, opened up my calendar and saw a scholastic books order form that her teacher handed me, and THEN it hit me like a ton of bricks!!! I found myself daydreaming and doodling on yet another to-do list...
Why have I not pursued Children's Book Illustration until NOW?! Sure, I always had it in the back of my mind but never thought I could actually do it. But after 12 years in the advertising field designing logos, and illustrating portraits, and illustrating all of my own art for client projects, I realized it was my favorite part of the day... so why not take the leap, and in my free time pursue my life long dream!
I have been an Illustrator for my entire life, but I am quickly learning that I need to re-teach myself how to draw. So I did some research, and joined the wonderful world of SCBWI. I have also been re-learning perspective, figure drawing, and even watercolor. I even checked out a book from the library on how to draw comics & fashion illusrtations just to get other perspectives. All of this self education is in preparation to become a full time Children's Book Illustrator... some day.
Being in advertising for over 12 years, I have always drawn single images, and maybe a rough composition or entire scene for a storyboard or two. But to Illustrate Children's books, or more particularly Picture Books, my images need to tell the story. So here we go back to the beginning fundamentals. I am looking forward to this long journey, and not the destination, but for the long fun path that lies ahead.
I am attending a conference this October for my area, and there will be a room full of inspiration, teachers, critics, and so much useful information that my head might possibly explode before I walk out of there at the end of the day! I have been doing a drawing about every other day since I joined the SCBWI and I test them out on my 2 1/2 year old daughter. I show her the pictures and she tells me what she thinks is going on in the picture. Hopefully I can create 10-15 Illustrations for the portfolio review at the conference.
So far the best way I have found to come up with scenes to draw is to think of a story, and draw one scene. Illustrationfriday.com is another useful tool, where they give a word to interpret and draw before the following Friday. I will be posting many of these topics, as a way to test my discipline, and creativity week after week, all while building up my portfolio along the way... stay tuned!