Bookscoops

The Scoop on Children & Adolescent Literature

What Do Illustrators Do? written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow

Posted by hollybookscoops on April 2, 2012

I have a child who wants to be an illustrator when he grows up. I used to dream of that when I was younger myself. So, when I saw this book at the library I thought it would be the perfect thing for both of us. I really liked it. I loved seeing the whole process. Some of my favorite visits with author/illustrators have been learning about the development of pictures to final products. Creativity is such a variable thing for everyone. The book, in summary is about two different illustrators each illustrating the same story. It shows how an illustrator designs a character, chooses which perspective to illustrate each scene from, and what tools they use to create their illustrations. Each person comes up with a completely different version of the same book.

I highly recommend this for anyone interested in illustration, young or old. It’s full of great pointers and practical advice. Even my five year old could use some of these pointers, even though he’s not the one interested in illustration. He was in tears today over his homework- he had to draw a picture of his favorite television show, which is Wild Kratts. He was very unhappy with his picture. It wasn’t perfect- the hair, in his distraught opinion looked like birthday candles on a cake instead of spikes. I did try to tell him that even professionals make sketches and mess up a lot and start over. He didn’t want to believe me. They could mess up, but he wanted to be perfect. Without practice. Hmm. That would be kind of nice. I’d sign up for that ability any day.

But, since that’s not likely to happen, I decided to take an illustration class this summer from Julie Oleson. I’m a little nervous. I want to be perfect too. Even though I know I’m not and I will never improve if I throw fits and whine about how I’m not as good as I would like to be. I’m taking the plunge. I signed up for the class. There are no refunds. Wish me luck!

Do you have a life-long dream that you’ve thought about pursuing? Maybe you want to be a writer, or an illustrator, or a dancer? Take some lessons, sign up for a class! You’ll never get there if you don’t start down the path no matter how scary it may be.

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2 Responses to “What Do Illustrators Do? written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow”

  1. Lorene said

    I have been wondering recently if ‘artists’ are ever really satisfied with thier work, or if like your son, they will always see the birthday candles instead of spikes. Although, maybe to someone else, birthday candle hair is the coolest thing!
    Good for you for taking the art class. Good luck and enjoy!

  2. I think as in most creative pursuits- the creator often knows the flaws better than anyone else. At the same time though, the creator can be blind to their biggest inadequecies. I like to turn my art around and look at it in a mirror. That helps me see where my perspective is off.

    I agree though, birthday candle hair would be pretty cool- especially on crazy hair day.

    Thanks for commenting!

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