“HOW I WORK 3 - The Storyboard”
Every Step of my creative process for Children´s Books explained.
THE STORYBOARD (Free)
Essentially this is where I take the original text sent to me by the author and go about to plan a visual structure for the story based on the original words.
Illustration, particularly children´s book illustrations are not just about drawing something well. And this is where so many books fail. I have lost count of the time independent authors came to me asking why their book pages are not working despite having pretty pics in them done by the "illustrator" they hired before hiring me to fix the book.
Well, pretty pics are not enough and are not even the main reason why a book works some times. There are plenty of amazing artists out there that fail miserably at book illustration because they have no sense of sequential narrative.
Personally I treat book illustrations in a very cinematic way. Cinema is a big inspiration for me and that is why my clients tend to tell me that sometimes my illustrations have some sort of animation feel to them. It´s not a casual thing. The reason many of my worlds work on paper and why people have the feeling they could go inside my landscapes and explore them is because I think about them as If I was planning a scene for a movie. Therefore, my initial approach is creating "a storyboard" to get the feel of the original text narrative as a whole.
The storyboard and the test image are free of charge for private/self-publish authors.
Contrary to most illustrators I do not charge for this first painting because I do need to see if the project works for me and this initial step also helps me to estimate the final costs to present to the client. The time a project will take to complete is a key factor on the final price too.
The storyboard for me works as a "sketch" phase as well.
Clients are welcome to send me all the creative requirements they see as important at any time, we can chat through facebook, skype, etc if the client wants to explain something in detail but overall people just send me the original texts and sometimes a few reference images or something they feel is important to put into the book somewhere and I go from there.
Once the storyboard and test pics are done and presented to the client, if the client approves my story structure / the storyboard and the test pic, then I will go and I will paint everything else based on the remaining images I did for the storyboard and I will present the "completed" images at the end. I don´t dwell that much into going scene by scene discussing every little detail before I paint a spread, as you will learn by reading "How I Work 4 - Test Illustration". :)
Confused ? Scared about my creative process ? Don´t be. Let me continue to explain.