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Last week received the rough sketches for my book from my illustrator. I’m completely beside myself! There is no greater feeling than watching your creation take shape and come to life.

One of my sons is the main character in the story. Prior to beginning any sketching my illustrator requested photos of my son in order to capture his personality in the images. It’s amazing how I can look at an illustrated character and see every bit of my child in the image. There is truly no substitution for talent and skill.  

The sketches are very raw. There is no color and very little detail on the pages. This stage of the process allows for dialogue on my preferences for each image. For example, as much as I loved the sketches, I wasn’t very fond of how one of the other characters was depicted. I used this opportunity to communicate to my illustrator how I would like to see that character pictured. Since the character in question is based on a real person, I sent him photos of the person to help guide him as he develops that character’s image.

The sketching phase is also the time to share my ideas on color, background, character clothing, setting, etc. We communicate via email. So, as I look over each page, I insert my comments on how I suggest that page develops. It’s crucial to make these suggestions at this stage because if any changes have to be made, it’s much easier to make those changes with mere sketches instead of after color and detail have been added.

As authors, we have our own pictures of our story in our mind. After all, we create the story. It can be difficult to convey those ideas through pictures when they are not coming from your own hand. What I hoped was for my story to be so clear and vivid that my illustrator couldn’t help but to envision what I could see in my mind as I was writing. Fortunately, this is exactly what happened. Of course, researching illustrators and their styles helped with this also. I’m getting closer to my dream becoming a reality folks, and it feels good.

Post your questions or comments below. I’ll happily respond. Keep pressing forward Newbies and Write on!

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