For instance, if you want to illustrate a children’s book, don’t expect to be noticed by having amazing portfolio pieces that would be perfect in a children’s book, but don’t show your understanding of the publishing world. But, how do you show understanding if you have never been published, you might ask? Well, create your own book. Illustrate and entire book for your portfolio, and have it bound (dummy). It doesn’t have to be an original story; it could be a public domain story that you take to show your strengths as and illustrator. There are many reasons for doing this, but mostly it shows an AD that you can take a character and portray him consistently throughout a story. It also shows that you understand the ins and outs of book publishing such as layout, bleeds, gutter space, word placement, flow, continuity, assembly, story-telling etc.
Hearing this at the conference really made a lot of sense to me. Many years ago I had the opportunity to interview many print graphic designers that were trying to make the transition to web design, and unless they had specific web samples in their portfolio, I could not be sure that they really understood the web world, even if their work was top notch. Designers that had web design samples always had an advantage.
Needless to say, I am now creating my own book dummy to include in my portfolio. I must say that creating one illustration Vs. illustrating an entire book is completely different, and if you are an aspiring children’s book illustrator I highly recommend it.
I am illustrating the Three Billy Goats Gruff. I started out with the character studies of the goats and the troll, shown on previous posts. I need to work on a color version of the characters and change the troll to have one eye. Since the story calls for a one eyed troll (I’m learning that it’s important to be true and honest to the story).
I would like to make more progress but at the moment all I have is a few hours a week for this, so it may be a while before you come to see something other than goats and trolls on this blog.
Below are the thumbnails for the layout. These are based on a 32 page picture book with 4 pages of front matter. The sketches are very loose and a little bigger than a stamp to focus primarily on flow, overall composition and layout. I first started with the text and broke it up into sections/pages to then illustrate that part of the story. There are a few pages that I’m not quite sure about…still making decisions…
ANY comments and criticism are welcomed!