Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making Picture Books Isn't For the Faint Hearted


 Photo credit to Yumi Kimura

So I just read this really cool article, and I really wanted to share it with you. (Sorry, you may have to click Continue To the Document or some such nonsense, but it's totally worth it.)

This article goes step by step through the process of making the picture book Zoom Upstream.  This book is about a cat who goes on an adventure down into the basement and ends up in Egypt. (Hence today's smilin' kitty picture.)

Now, I think this particular article downplays the amount of editing that can go into a picture book. I myself have tried my hand at picture book writing, and I've realized that every word counts and the rhythm of the words is really important, so I did a ton of editing on my picture book. But it's quite probable that author Tim Wynne-Jones is just that much better than me.

But what I found to be fascinating was the crazy amount of effort the illustrator put into his work. (That'd be Eric Beddows, aka Ken Nutt - he's got two names, what a nut! Okay, sorry about the terrible pun.)

Eric Beddows did awesome (and crazy) stuff like build scale models for his illustrations and then take pictures of the models and sketch in drawings over top of his photos. He also used graph paper so that he could consistently get the proportions (and respective proportions) of his various characters correct all the time.

Eric also visited Egypt so he could be inspired for his illustrations, but I'd consider that to be more of a perk/excuse to go visit Egypt than anything else.

Anyway, I thought it was neat. Hope you do too.

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