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Writing AND illustrating your own book... no no or go go?

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Hi lovely forum people, I've literally just signed up and this is my very first post. Already love this website...

I had a query... I'm a first time picture book author (unpublished but looking for an agent, I think), and I both wrote and illustrated my first book as I have some (non kids book) experience in both areas. But my question is: is this a complete no-no? From what I've read, publishers like to pair authors with illustrators so they can pair experienced illustrators with new authors etc... which is a shame as I really love the process of drawing my own writing, and would ideally want to do both. Am I doomed? Is working as a writer / illustrator just not something that happens in this field?

Thanks so much,

Simon
#1 - January 15, 2021, 11:42 AM

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Author/illustrators, if they are talented in both areas, are the most desired picture book creator. Some agents will only look at author/illustrators, in fact. What you said about pairing is only true if the author doesn't illustrate. You are not at all doomed.
#2 - January 15, 2021, 12:05 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

40 Days for Life
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:welcome and fear not. As AnneMarie says, you might even be favored :) Here's another recent thread about this very topic.
 https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=91086.0
#3 - January 15, 2021, 01:02 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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Thanks so much both... that's encouraging. And thank you Vijaya for pointing out that other thread!
#4 - January 15, 2021, 01:12 PM

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Depends on how good you are on both sides of the equation.  You need to be strong on both ends. 

I have trouble because I'm not much of a writer.  Tell me the story and I can illustrate whatever it needs.  But, getting those story ideas and writing them well is really tough for me.  It tends to come out rather pedantic.  So, I'm really just an illustrator at this point.  I keep thinking I should figure out the writing thing so I can be both, though.  One day, maybe. 
#5 - January 18, 2021, 09:17 AM
Karen B. Jones

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So, I'm really just an illustrator at this point.

You make this sound like it's a bad thing, Karen. It's far from. No one can do it all. You have something you are really good at. (I do get it as I wish I could do the art, but it's not necessary to be able to do both even though it does make some projects easier.)
#6 - January 18, 2021, 05:55 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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Karen, two of my favorite author-illustrators, Kevan Atteberry and Joan Holub, started out as illustrators and after several years were encouraged  to write AND illustrate their own stories. Laini Taylor too, started off as an artist. She's an amazing writer too. I'm sure there are many more stories of artists using their pen to write.

Why not take a writing class focused on PBs or CBs or join 12x12--I've heard wonderful things about that community. Sometimes, in a down economy, the best thing you can do is expand your repertoire by taking a class.
#7 - January 19, 2021, 05:54 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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Vijaya,
Yes, I have been considering it.  Started to look up writing prompts on occasion, but they're more likely to inspire art than writing at this point.  Thinking about it, though.  Thanks. 
#8 - January 19, 2021, 06:53 AM
Karen B. Jones

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