Creating Pictures Books with Technology My Story of Going Digital


This all takes 6 months - 1 year.

An illustrator is invited to audition to illustrate a book with sketch of the main character in the possible illustration style.
Once I've been hired by the Publishers (The author sometimes gets a say) it's time to read through the manuscript and work out how many characters there are and what they'll look like.
The first storyboards are just stick figures and incomprehensible 'notes to self'. There is lots of scrubbing out and redrawing.
'I now use a graphics tablet and draw most of the sketches digitally.'- Claire

I can now draw directly over the previous draft. I also use layers to position and hide text. I can zoom in to fix details, erase and undo!

There are about 10 storyboards that each take about a week.

I use to post storyboards to the publishers.

The publishers would make comments and post them back.

Even with express post, this takes several days.

It is sometimes tricky to send big image files but now storyboards are emailed back and forth.

These means all the messy story notes can be typed up on the computer instead, this is much quicker than writing.

I can also check the spelling of words before putting them into images!

I use to look for books but now the internet is an invaluable source of reference images.
After looking and drawing realistic images I put the reference images away and start cartooning, leaving out the details.
Sometimes I use basic 3D modelling to plan out the perspective of a space.
I still use clay for figuring out a challenging character design. It was hard to make the dingo look scary and not like a dog or a wolf.
When I start building models of furniture it's time to stop 'background research' and get onto the final artwork.

The chair model was actually crucial to a story.

I even do some of the final illustrations on the computer.

My digital art lecturers use to say images work best when there is an element of something real or handmade.

These two pictures include photograph textures from the Internet!
It is sooo much better than collage in real life because you can use your favourite samples infinite an number of times.
This is a soft brush technique.

That is how technology has changed picture books in the last 10 years.

What Will Picture Books Look like in 10 Years time?

I have been investigating the cross-over between picture books and interactive websites!

thank you for listening

the end

Created By
Claire Richards


Created with images by Clovis_Cheminot - "stylus wacom tablet" • chornamariya - "Letters" • epicantus - "clock time hour"

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