Today I'm reading an interview with Zoe Tucker, an Art Director at Alison Green Books. One of the first things she says about the children's book process is something I hear repeated time and time again:
"Well, in a nutshell, it all begins with a good story."
She sheds a bit more light on the job that falls to the illustrator. It's not just about having "pretty" art, or a colorful image. Good things to think about when illustrators are creating portfolio samples as well:
"The characterization is key to everything. It’s very important that the main character can ‘carry’ the story convincingly. Can they make lots of facial expressions, stand in different poses, sit down, kneel, twist etc? Rather annoyingly, I’m sure, I usually ask the illustrator to do pages of characters roughs, working on body shape, expressions and poses."
She likens the thumbnail sketching and planning process to planning a storyboard for a film:
"Films are rarely shot from the same one angle and likewise in picture books, variation in perspective and scale can help add drama and energy, whilst a minimal linear approach can keep a story quiet and simple."
If you want to read the entire article, and see all the lovely pictures, check it out below:
Interview with Zoe Tucker