Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing and illustrating storybooks for your kids.

For me there are few things more enjoyable than writing and illustrating picture books about and for my kids.

I am not an illustrator or a published children’s author (at least not yet!) but I discovered the joy of writing and illustrating books for my little ones a little over a year ago. In fact, I think the impetus was an overwhelming desire to do something for myself and to have a creative output. My daughter was two and a half and my baby was six months old, so if you have children you have probably experienced the craving for something other than changing nappies and playing the games they made up.

This time I wanted to play and the way I ‘played’ was by writing and illustrating a couple of books about and for my little girl. I wanted to capture all those quirky little things that she likes and does before she grew up and I forgot them. I wanted her to be able to read a book in which she was the main character, in which she was celebrated. I wanted to create something that would not only mean something to her now but would bring her joy in many years to come, something that hopefully she will share with her own children.

And so I did.

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to write and illustrate stories for your kids. You get to be the child in kindergarten again. You get to play with the crayons and paints. Nobody is judging your work, your little ones will love it because it is for and about them. And the surprising thing is that when you write from your heart and draw from joy the books that result are fantastic. You seriously do not need to be a wonderful artist to do this. You can draw stick figures if you fancy or you can use photographs or pictures cut out from magazines. There is no right and no wrong, which is incredibly liberating.

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