Saturday, February 11, 2017

Breakout workshop: The Artist-Led Picture Book

Since 2004, Kristen Noble has worked as an art director at Candlewick Press. Recently, however, she became the publisher at Page Street Publishing Company, one of the fastest growing publishers in the US. There, she keeps a lookout for new artists with strong storytelling abilities. Noble is especially interested in working with author-illustrators to create art-led picture books.

In her workshop, she spoke to a crowd of mostly illustrators, offering tips on how to make the jump from illustrator to author-illustrator. Here are a few tips she offered:

Be true to you. Keep a sketchbook, record a visual response to your day. Create your own characters, imagining their back stories. She highlighted the work of author-illustrator Steve Light, who has done just that. Steve keeps copious visual notes, always drawing in a sketchbook. A drawing that he created of a detailed flying machine inspired his book, ZEPHR TAKES FLIGHT.

What are your unique interests? Ask yourself: What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about? What keeps you happy? Your unique interests could inspire a story. Kids learn about their world thorough books, so share your experiences with children through stories you write. Author-illustrator Matt Tavares loves baseball. And history. And history and baseball! Tavares turned his love of the game and history and turned time into the books HENRY AARON'S DREAM, ZACHARY'S BALL, GROWING UP PEDRO, and more! 

Take inspiration from stories that are around you--newspapers, social media, biographies of people and places. Artist Asley Yazdani had an interest in gardening, which led her to write and illustrate an upcoming book about Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind the design of Central Park in New York City.

Research the competition. Know the market. Be distinctive. Fill the holes. The best way to research? Join critique groups, study writer websites and blogs. Connect with your community.

No comments:

Post a Comment