Not too long ago I was asked "How do I come up with the images for the books I illustrate?"
Good question, but I'm never sure how to answer it.
Of course, it all starts with the text.
I read through the story that I'm assigned many times before I start sketching it out. I'm not really trying to get into the authors head and figure out what they want (that could give me a headache), but I do need to get a feel for the story. As I read, I start to see images and from there I start sketching them out, trying to get the characters to come to life by developing what I see in my brain. I think this is my favorite part of the process. As I pile paper on top of paper, working and reworking, it is definitely a love hate relationship between my brain, hands, and eyes. Sooner or later, they come to a compromise and wait for the smile on my face to say, "this is it". Sometimes the process is short and other times I'll have to try and try and try again until I get what I want. That was the way it was with The Marshmallow Man by Rena Jones, I had to re due the drawings over and over until I got it. You don't realize how hard it is to make a marshmallow man until you have to try"What could be so hard about illustrating a Marshmallow Man?" Grrrr!
The photo above is the end result, what you are looking at is almost the entire book laid out (almost ! never give it all away). "The Marshmallow Man" should be out by December 2009 published by 4RV Publishing.
But until then You can find all the other titles I have worked on. "Angeline Jellybean" by Crystalee Calderwood, "Colors" by Dana Warren, "Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?" by Rich Aaron, and "The Art of Science" by Ransom Noble. You can also find "A New Job for Dilly" by Rena Jones & illustrated by Lisa Oakman Plus many more wonderful titles.
I have been given permission to post up to three images from the each books I have illustrated and will start next week with "Colors" (I think)