Sunday, 17 June 2012

The beginning!

Illustration is the communication of information or an idea in a visual manner. One of the earliest forms of illustration that we encounter in our lives are children’s picture books, where the visual and verbal narratives are combined as simply or effectively as possible in order to entertain, inform or educate the reader. The younger reader may not be able to follow the words at first but will undoubtedly be able to follow the narrative through the pictures.

Picture books will more often than not convey a message or a meaning or provide a way for the reader to understand something that they are experiencing or learning about. To name a few, Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak tells of a young boy battling with his emotions, in particular anger; Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child focus on the initial relationships between siblings and how they annoy or support each other, and, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers is about an unlikely friendship, loss and discovery.

Successful picture books are equally as loved and enjoyed by both child and adult that pick them from the shelves. Personally, I adore all the above-mentioned books. I find them just as appealing as any of my young friends when we cosy up to read them. In fact, I probably enjoy them more. It is my ambition, and therefore, my intention to write and illustrate my own children’s picture book or choose an existing story to illustrate during the final major project module of my masters degree in graphic design practice.

During the previous module, I reached a point of realisation when exploring line quality and style, but I did not consider the narrative that is so important to succeed as a children’s book illustrator. My drawings have no meaning; they are not illuminating anything or telling anyone a story. From this point on I need to decide what I want my illustrations to say and choose the most appropriate way to illustrate them once I have established their content and audience. The aim of my research within this module is to give my illustrations meaning and explore and develop them into a completed, publishable book and learn how to become a working illustrator.  

As a warm up, I was given the task of illustrating The Brother's Grimm adaptation of Little Red Cap. The brief boundaries insisted that I use only 6 circles to depict the tale, 2 to tell beginning, 2 to tell middle and 2 to tell the end. I am also to consider how colour would be included within the illustrations and how it would enhance what was being illustrated. So I got sketching...



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