Illustrations or no illustrations. That is the question and topic of today’s blog post. I am making the assumption your book is a picture book! Keep in mind the age of the audience of your book. A younger child will be more interested in the pictures than the words. When creating the story board for my illustrator, I knew I wanted full page illustrations on the right side with the story line on the left side. Decide what the physical size of your book will be. Your illustrator will need to know this. Of course, if you are the author and illustrator, you can have some really lively conversations with yourself as you go through this process!
Will the illustrations in your book be silly, cartoonish, fantasy, realistic or a mix of many styles? How about the color palette for the images? Soft, pastel color, bright color, black and white, realistic color or pink elephants with purple roller skates? Looking at the characters in your story, will the drawings be lifelike or cartoonish, historical, present day or futuristic? Or are the characters non-human? If so, will the apples be drawn with human characteristics, e.g. faces, limbs, shoes, clothing. Thinking here about a certain yellow sponge that wears geometric pants.
What will be the method and medium of your illustrations? Will you use photographs, hand-drawn or computer drawn, painted, pencil, chalk or color pencil? If you are painting the images, will you use watercolors, acrylics, tempera, or oils? I have seen some lovely illustrations using pieces of torn tissue paper. Forgive me for being repetitive but keep the intended age group for your book in mind when you make these decisions. If you are not self-illustrating, the decision you make may be very closely tied to the amount of money you are willing to pay your illustrator.
However you decide to illustrate your book, you have to write the first sentence!
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