If you have been following my current blog series, I’ve been talking about the process once you’ve completed writing your children’s book.
So far we’ve discussed critique and editing, number of pages and trim size, character mapping, and storyboarding. We are getting closer to that all important aspect of finding an illustrator.
Illustrations are as important as the story itself. They are used to convey the message of the story.
There are tons of articles out on the web that you can find about illustrations and the different styles. But basically what it boils down to is realism, impressionism, expressionism, cartoon art, surrealism, and folk art.
When I started looking for an illustrator for Cowgirl Lessons, I had an idea of what I wanted in my head. I really like the art of Robin Preiss Glassner of the Fancy Nancy fame. I was first introduced to her art, now with Fancy Nancy, but with her work with Lynne Cheney on Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, America: A Patriotic Primer; and A is for Abigail Adams.
Another artist I am fascinated with is Tom Lichtenheld: Exclamation, Cloudette, Stick and Stone, and Duck! Rabbit!
Or, for a completely different feel, I also love the art of Edward Gorey, however this was certainly not the style I was looking to achieve with Cowgirl Lessons.
My advice to you. Take some time down at the local bookstore or library and look through children’s books to find a style that speaks to you and the story. Make notes of the books and illustrators. Obviously you aren’t going to copy illustrations, but it will help you get a sense of what you like and what you don’t like and will help you communicate with the illustrators you interview to complete your work.
Whatever style you choose, I’m sure it will fit your story perfectly!