Writing a book for children

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized

I’m currently writing a picture book. It’s an idea I’ve had buzzing around in my head for over 20 years. I bet some people reading this page haven’t been alive as long as I have had this in my noggin.

I’m going to make a little project of writing about my progress now and then.

I’m a self taught artist really and I think there’s something really wonderful self taught artists. Of course, there are many areas of knowledge and experience that I lack but I make up for that in enthusiasm. Sometimes I wish I had known how much I loved illustration before I embarked on a university education. But then I wouldn’t have had the characterisation skills I got from my Theatre Arts degree, nor the breadth of knowledge of the human experience without studying Archaeology and Anthrolopology.

In fact, it was in a formal Archaeology degree that I ignited my passion for visual art and representation.  I trained in archaeological illustration which is basically drawing lots of very old things, like Roman pendants in the shape of (to use Baldrick’s parlance) a ‘thingy’.  I drew lots of Roman penises basically. Penises and pottery. And bits of glass. It was fun. No, really it was. (Points finger accusatorily).

I always loved making up stories as a child. I can remember making a book when I was about 11. It was called ‘Willy-Nilly the baby dragon’. It was unsuprisingly about a little dragon called Willy Nilly, who ate flamed grilled beefburgers.  It wrote it and illustrated it. It was a bit shit, I guess. But what do you expect? I was 11.

So this here idea I’ve got, I thought I’d have a go at getting it out there. I’ll send it out to publishers and if they don’t ‘see a market for it’ then I’ll blummin’ find a market myself.

Now, in the film of my life  this is where they would cut to me clawing at the doors of a London publishing house shouting, ‘I’ve found a maarKKEEETTTTT’ you bastards!’.

So I have been taking the time to storyboard my little tale and I’m going to share the journey with anyone who is interested enough to pop by.

I’ll start by sharing with you a little sketch I have started of one of the illustrations. You can learn more about it as the weeks go on.

****PLEASE BUY PICTURE BOOKS AND WHERE POSSIBLE, FROM INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES. DON’T LET THE ART DIE OUT. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN TO READ PICTURE BOOKS, ESPECIALLY OLDER CHILDREN. PICTURE BOOKS REALLY ARE GIFTS TO FEED THE MIND AND SOUL****

Stan in pot rgb this

 

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My name is Ali and I am a picture book-holic.

Uncategorized

I have a problem. It’s picture book based. I tried to stop at one but I couldn’t. Send help.

When drawing is like (shush)…sex

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized

Yep. I said it. S-E-X. It’s a bit of a rubbish analogy but it illustrates (get it?) my point. Everyone does it differently. I love to see the methods other people use for getting their drawings out. I thought I would briefly share some little pics of me at my desk. I’ve been working on a little something that I will share properly later on. This time, I sketched out a rough and then transferred it on my Wacom into Illustrator so I could mess about a bit and get my colours just right. The finished thing was hand painted in watercolours. Phew! And people think you just do a little doodle right?! 

Using Adobe Illustrator

art, childrens book illustration, Illustration, painting, Uncategorized

Dear Diary, (or infact, WordPress blog).

Yay-hey! Wooooo- hoo!!!! Ok, so I thought I’d give it a go trying to get some of my sketches into digital format. Here’s my first attempt at transferring a handcoloured sketch into Illustrator and working over the top of it digitally. I have still got so bloody far to go and there is SO MUCH to learn. It’s blimmin’ overwhelming!

HERE IT IS. DOWN HERE. JUST UNDER THIS TEXT…

TA-DA!!!

Untitled-1111-1 jpg

Yep. This tiny sketch has taken me about 12 hours over 3 days and you won’t believe the intricacies of some of this stuff. BUT! I have finally grasped a rudimentary (i.e. for simpletons) understanding of LAYERS! They aren’t the capricious and malevolent force I suspected them to be. They are things of genius!

Do watch in the next few weeks, as I blunder through a catalogue of embarrassments as I try to self teach myself what I need to know…