This session was about the production of the picture book, from beginning to end. It's geared primarily for illustrators, but interesting for all interested in how a picture book is created.
From the very beginning, before a manuscript is even acquired, an editor may show the manuscript to the creative director, and the two may discuss potential illustrators for the project.
Over-arching Tip: The picture book is very personal and should have a personal feel to it, but picture book creators must also be mindful of the picture book form--a story of 32 pages that needs to flow from beginning to end, gutter, etc.
It is very important to read the text again and again and again and to allow the images to come to a clear mind. Then it becomes about choices--how to bring those images to life.
The editor's and art director's first look at the illustrations is in flat black and white sketches. The team needs to make some jumps from those sketches to what the illustrations will become. It's often the illustrator's job is to determine appropriate page breaks and pacing so illustrations and text work together well.
Important Aspects of Illustrations:
1. To depict clear characterization and emotion in each illustration
2. To be able to create illustrations in a narrative flow, and to maintain a character throughout that flow
3. To illustrate just enough--don't over-illustrate! Strike just the right balance of what to show and what not to show
4. To keep form in mind and to be consistent with the form throughout the book, from front matter, to gutter, to illustrative concepts.
Great workshop--interesting and fun.