One of the biggest and most important challenges the Children’s Book Illustrator faces, over and over again, is the UNIQUE VISUALIZATION of the MAIN CHARACTER.
So often, I have seen illustrators resort to generic depictions of the star of the story–too “designed,” too ordinary, too much like characters already seen in media, especially on TV and video games.
The assignment is simply to illustrate a moment from the following passage from Philip Pullman’s version of “Little Red Riding Hood” from FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM (Viking, 2012). (You may want to read the entire story. It is an excellent book.)
Once upon a time there was a little girl who was so sweet and kind that everyone loved her. Her grandmother, who loved her more than anyone, gave her a little cap made of red velvet, which suited her so well that she wanted to wear it all the time. Because of that everyone took to calling her Little Red Riding Hood.
One day her mother said to her: ‘Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve got a job for you. Your grandmother isn’t very well, and I want you to take her this cake and a bottle of wine. They’ll make her feel a lot better. You be polite when you go into her house, and give her a kiss from me. Be careful on the way there, and don’t step off the path or you might trip over and break the bottle and drop the cake, and then there’d be nothing for her. When you go into her parlour don’t forget to say, “Good morning, Granny,” and don’t go peering in all the corners.’
‘I’ll do everything right, don’t worry,’ said Little Red Riding Hood, and kissed her mother goodbye.
Her grandmother lived in the woods, about half an hour’s walk away. When Little Red Riding Hood had only been walking a few minutes, a wolf came up to her. She didn’t know what a wicked animal he was, so she wasn’t afraid of him.
Your task is to make me “FALL IN LOVE” with your illustration and especially with Red Riding Hood. I want to “meet her” for the first time.
This is NOT EASY! The deadline is tight (on purpose).
The specs are:
B & W, Limited Color, or Full Color
8” x 8”
DO NOT LEAVE SPACE FOR TYPE.
(Indicate the excerpt you’ve illustrated in the body of your email.)
Due at SCBWI by December 1, 2015.
No late submissions will be considered.
Best of luck and good work. And, as I’ve been saying a lot lately, “COURAGE!”