Thursday, August 27, 2009

A new illustration for my storybook

As I mentioned in my last post I have given myself a challenge to complete an illustration each week for a picture book I have written for my little girl.

Here is a slide show of the illustations so far...

Find more photos like this on Piggy Publishing Adventures

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finishing the illustrations for a storybook- my challenge

I wrote a book for Sofia called ‘Sofia gets angry when’ about 18 months ago (this is a great theme for a storybook for a toddler, they think it is hysterical). I started illustrating the book about 12 months ago and I am disappointed to say it is sill lying unfinished.

So, I have given myself a challenge to finish illustrating this book and I have decided the best way of ensuring I get it done is to make a promise to you that I’ll add a new illustration each week whatever happens.

Today I have put photos of the illustrations I have already completed little further down in this blog post.

Next week I will be adding my next completed illustration for the book and inviting you to have a look.

If you would like to join me in this challenge and each week write or illustrating something for a book idea you have let me know by popping by my page and we can help hold each other accountable and inspire each other.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A picture book guide to writing an illustrating your first storybook for your kids.

I have just added my first ever video to YouTube.

Here is my picture book guide to writing and illustrating your first storybook for your kids.

Some of you may have seen this before.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A fun, easy way anyone can illustrate and write a storybook in a back to front kind of way.

I've discovered a really fun, stress free and fast way to write and illustrate a storybook. The secrets are creating it in a back to front kind of way and splashing watercolours haphazardly on a page.

Here is the result (I have put images in pairs, the first is the result of me splashing colours on paper and the second is what I did next...).

Find more photos like this on Piggy Publishing Adventures

I had great fun playing around with text to make the images into a story. Below is what I have come up with so far.

I'll explain how this book came to be. If you find the method appeals to you I urge you to give it a go and share the results with me on Piggy Publishing Adventures.

I love water colours and decided to play around just putting them on the page, creating miscellaneous shapes and colours with no thought to creating a 'real' picture. This was really fun and quick to do. It took me less than 10 minutes to create 5 images. The hardest part of doing this was avoiding painting familiar concrete objects. This exercise is great antidote for someone like me who has a habit of wanting to 'get things right'.

My next step was to (a day or two later) ask myself 'what do I see?' when looking at the images and then to draw a sketch onto the picture outlining what I saw. I knew I wanted to make a children's picture book out of the images so when I looked at the second image I started to wonder a little bit about what kind of story could evolve and once again asked myself 'what do I see?'. I tried to keep a story idea very loose, but wanted something to guide me, and something my children could relate to and enjoy. So, I simply decided this story would be about a monster (both my children love monster stories) and then let whatever happen happen.

Looking at my interpretation of the images now, it is clear to me the pictures that came to mind are a reflection of what is in my life right now. The green circle in blue became a swimming ring in a lake, which makes sense to me as it is summer in Sweden and much of our time is spent swimming in lakes with swimming rings. Fish also feature in this story, which is not surprising considering we recently gave my daughter an aquarium with three fish for her 4th birthday. So, you are probably starting to get an impression of how this works. The great thing about this is that the images that naturally came to mind are everyday things my children can relate to and enjoy.

Once I'd finished sketching the things I imagined over the watercolour images, I scribbled down a story. As the pictures are kind of nonsensical I thought a silly kind of story would fit perfectly. I know the story and the images could do with some work to make a storybook with a clear totality etc... but for now I am very happy with the results.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Playing around painting words on a page.

I have been playing around with painting words on pages. I ended up writing/painting what I thought may work as a headline for my website Piggy Publishing Aventures. To be honest the style of presentation didn't really work for that purpose but I did have fun painting the words and I have a feeling I am on the edge of something... you know, a kind of feeling this style will lead to something... but I'm not sure what...

Maybe you have some ideas...

Find more photos like this on Piggy Publishing Adventures

Monday, August 3, 2009

The first time I thought I could write and illustrate my own children's picture book.

I never considered writing and illustrating storybooks for children until I started reading picture books to my own child. I found it so refreshing to see how simple, beautiful and completely effective they can be.

The books that first ignited the thought that I could write and illustrate personalized books for my little girl were the Sam series of books written by Barbro Lindgren and illustrated by Eva Eriksson. This series of books are about a little boy called Sam (or Max if you are reading them in their original language, Swedish) who has very every day adventures.

The books are written with so much humour and love I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. My daughter, who was a toddler when I first read them to her, also fell in love with them. She loved to read about someone who had the same challenges as she did and that was when the idea came to me that I should write and illustrate a picture book just about her, one in which she could recognise her own life and experiences.

And so I did.

And of course I can’t recommend enough the process of writing and illustrating a book and then the absolute joy of sharing it with your little one. Yes, this is where I get all gushy so I’d better stop here.

Oh, and by the way, my little boy who is 20 months has also just discovered the joy of the Sam books and it is just as much fun reading them the second time around.

For those of you visiting my blog for the first time, if you would like to read a couple of the books I have written and illustrated for my children please click on the title of this blog post and you will be taken to my free Create A Book For A Child membership site for inspired mums, dads, grandparents and teachers who like to create books for their children.