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Picture Book Illustrations?

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Many new writers of picture books want to know where they can find an illustrator and how they should send their art notes to an editor with their manuscript.  The hard truth of the matter is you don't.  You don't find your own illustrator except in rare instances.  Some small educational publisher ask writers to locate their own illustrators and if you are planning to publish your own book, then you will have to find your own illustrator. In almost all other cases, however, your editor will want to pick the illustrator for your book.  Each house has a "stable" of illustrators they prefer using -- people they know will produce top quality art that will help your book get off to the best possible start.

And when it comes to sending your art notes to the editor, you don't do that, either. Just as you had free reign to write anything your mind came up with, the artist will need that same privilege. What you envision for your story might be totally at odds from what the illustrator imagines. 

Writing a picture book is only half the battle. The other half is learning to “let go” of your vision and allowing the illustrator to create his (or her) part of the book.  You write the words and build a verbal picture in the mind of the reader.  The illustrator will build a completely separate image for the reader (often adding many incredible layers that you never dreamed of) to your story.

It’s like a layer cake.  You create the cake, and the illustrator puts on the frosting, often adding a filled layer to the cake, and decorative elements that enhance the story far beyond what it would have been with just the words alone.

#1 - April 07, 2008, 12:34 PM
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 12:45 PM by Verla Kay »
Verla Kay

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