Friday, 2 September 2011

Amazing Writing Tips #4: Illustrate the Point

I didn't draw this
In this business you meet a lot of picture book writers. And one thing they nearly all say is, "Are you paying?" But they also say, "Don't illustrate your own work."

Now this seems really lazy to me. A picture book is, say, 500 words. I could knock that up sitting on the toilet. So when I do, I do my own illustrations. I find it a marvellous outpouring for my creative side, the side that doesn't really get to show itself when I'm writing. Then I'm purely focused on the money.There are two big benefits to doing your own illustrations:

  • As the writer only you can really interpret the story you write. No illustrator could envision the sweeping grandeur of my picture book 'Barry the Dog Falls Asleep'.
  • It's cheap.
So when working on any book that requires or has the faintest glimmer of a chance of requiring an illustration, do them yourself. If you have a manuscript that might require illustrations doodle them in the border. In fact fill the borders with differing versions, let your imagination run riot.
Original Barry Illustration

Now you may not be as an accomplished artist as me, but don't worry, with modern computer software like MS Paint you can create masterpieces like this. 'Barry the Dog Falls Asleep' comes alive!

Doodle on brothers!

Mark