Sunday, 13 September 2009

Illustrating a Picture Book: Taking Stock


That's the end of yet another week. Here's my Friday evening desk shot:

The artwork seems to be coming along pretty well, but it's tricky to tell if I'm truly on schedule. The living room spread I showed you earlier is almost finished:

Check out the open picture book on the floor, bottom left...

Shameless self-publicist that I am, I have used a page from the forthcoming Rumble Roar Dinosaur!, that should be published a little before Bears on the Stairs. Well, I have already established that the little boy is a dinosaur freak, so it fits quite neatly... honest Guv!

I know I said I would finish this spread around midweek, but for some reason, I ran out of steam before I'd quite finished the flowers in the vase or the cat:

Just like a couple of times before at this stage in a spread, I could tell I was slowing up, so I started something fresh to kick start my momentum again, and left our poor, blind, feline friend until later on.

There are two more living room spreads to do, so I got those underway, and speeded things up a bit. Since they are quite similar, I began working on them together, side by side on the desk, like I did with those koalas.

Remember I mentioned, I have a very tight deadline? Well, I needed to work out accurately if I was on track, so got out my diary.

Counting from Monday morning, I have exactly 13 working days left I can use. I'll need maybe 1.5 more days to polish off these 2 new ones...

Then there are 2 remaining spreads, which will take 2 days each; plus there are 2 single page illustrations: another 2 days; and 2 vignettes: a day and a half. Allowing a day for finishing off the running away spread and the odds and ends in the one at the top...

... makes approx 10 days drawing to do.

Then I need a day to cut all my mounting card and paper overlays, and half a day to mount everything, package it all and get it to the post office: 11.5 days. Allowing half a day for miscellaneous 'touching up', means I am in credit by just 1 day!! Yikes.

I try not to work weekends, since I'm working fairly late most evenings, but I'm glad they're there for emergencies...

9 comments:

Damian Harvey said...

Amazing how quickly the weeks seem to fly by when you're working to a deadline isn't it... I love the inclusion of your dinosaur book - perhaps it's something you should do more often.

Korky Paul includes lots of his other book characters in his illustrations and kids love lookng out for them.

Jessie said...

Well done! This is looking really good and I like the touch of having one of your books in the picture too. It's just the sort of thing children will notice and if they have that book too, will recognise it! Could I ask, as I know nothing about the children's illustration business, is there an 'expected' way of packaging the original artwork to send it off and does it have to be sent by a special type of delivery so as not to get damaged? Thanks Lynne!

granny grimble said...

You will be well and truly frazzled by the end of it all. What will you be doing on 'The night' to celebrate? I bet it includes a few glasses!

Woody said...

This is a great blog. I love watching the 'Bears on the Stairs' coming together. It's so interesting finding out how it's done. I'm just a beginner at drawing and too old to start a new career but if I could start again...

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks guys!

Damian - Not always easy to sneak them in, but I did it in 'Big Bad Wolf is Good' too.

Jessie - no set formats for mounting or packaging - just make sure it is going to survive undamaged & it can't be bent! I package it all between 2 stiff carboard box sheets and then wrap it in brown paper and plenty of sellotape. I usually send Special Delivery.

Mum - no time to celebrate: believe it or not, I am off to Selby for my 1st school visit the very next morning at the crack of dawn!!!

Woody - I'm not convinced that you're ever too old for anything (except perhaps childbirth...)

Mel said...

Love your blog/work it's very inspiring!
-M

Kim said...

love your illustrations Lynne :)
especially the koalas ;)
I enjoyed your story about your Grandad's smock too :)

Anonymous said...

I'm new to illustration for children books and a few months ago I saw your blog and now I'm a real fan! I cant wait to see updates on your blog and every time you make a new post I'm awestruck by how brilliant your art is! You've been a great inspiration for me, thank you.

I'm from South Africa but was in London a few weeks back and its just an amazing country. I'm trying to get a working / study visa so that I can stay in the UK.

Where did you study illustration? I would love to study illustration professionally as I am a self-taught artist

Thanks for inspiring me and keep up the wonderful work.

Lynne Chapman said...

I didn't study illustration at all - my degree is in Printed Textiles and Surface Decoration. I studied at Middlesex Polytechnic. There are some excellent illustration courses in the UK though. I believe Brighton is very highly thought of.

Good luck with your work!