2021 - Illustrating Children's books
The beginning of a new era for me. I always make books and stories for children. I made a few picture books around the years 1999 until 2004. You can find them in the tab 'books' - under 'Home'. I had a lot of fun making them and was planning to do a lot more. But all of a sudden my plans changed and I had to do more for the family, the children, got some rejections and... befor I knew it, that was it. I needed something to earn a little bit more money than what I received for my books once a year. So I decided to design for companies and for digital scrapbooking. It wasn't a lot what I earned by doing that, but it was more than i ever received for my books.
Cover of my first book - ( translated from Dutch: the migration of the meerkats.)
A few years ago I started to follow e-courses. I especially liked those of Lilla Rogers. I did several courses before she had a new course 'Illustrating for children's books'. Immediately I was SOLD. I attended this course, made not only by Lilla Rogers, but mainly by Zoe Tucker, an art director for children's picture books. All things I did in my earlier books were different. The bookmaking industry was more developed. There were new techniques, new visions on aspects for story telling as well as character developement, ways of telling the story, visions on what a good children's book must be like. It felt all so new to me, all so different. But in a good way. I have learned a lot after three of the children's book courses and I know that I really have another vision for creating picture books.
'Pet Problems' and 'The road ahead' were stories by Zoe tucker for the Illustrating for Children's books' e-course at Lilla Rogers' Make art that sells. See illustrations above and hereunder.
Finding my style
Finding my style was a little hard. I of course already had one, but I wanted to be more clear, more satisfied on my characters and the way the story wanted to be told.
I wanted to experiment with new materials and combine it with the way I already new. So I used my sketchbooks for digital scrapbooking and looked at my styles. Wasn't it an idea to make my sketches just like this? By drawing from photo's or from my imagination, drawing just by using my Lamy fountain pens in A4 sketch books, I made the first characters. I invented and developed them, with an undetailed story, but with a fun vision: I wanted to make my own fable. Like in my older books the characters were animals. I cannot tell you all about this and I cannot show it, because everything must remain unexposed for the publishers. So what you see here in my articles are illustrations I made during my courses.
Next goal in 2021
Now that I finished two picture books I am desparate to find an editor that wants to invest in the books. I KNOW they look good, I KNOW the stories of both books are fun, but I wish there was a formula to get to know which publisher wants to have which book. This is my main goal for 2021: getting them published! I don't care if a publisher says to love to publish if I change a few pages, change texts, remove or add things. It's logical: they know best what will sell to their public.
I have joined the SCBWI - Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators to try to discover my best options. In the meantime... I'm already thinking about a new story. It's developing...
Doing more e-courses is great in this time of Covid19. Now I follow several e-courses on Domestika. Just to improve my skills. They're awsome.
I made this during the e-course Illustration Techniques to Unlock your Creativity by Adolfo Serra