This is How it Works in Real Life: Working with an Illustrator

Here’s the fun post for the week: developing the art for chapter 1 of Ginger, the Ship Captain’s Cat, which is what Davina and I were doing earlier this week.

From the top, my original email to Davina with her responses and work. We’d had a series of informal intermittent conversations about Ginger; this is where we did the work.

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Joel: Here’s a composite I slapped together.

What I’m hoping for is a simple line drawing: window, cat outline, Japanese buildings hinted through the window. Simple simple simple, not complicated. I’d love to see a 5-minute sketch to give you feedback before you spend much time on this. Is that possible?

Note regarding the ‘5 minutes’ request: I know how artists are ’cause I are one. Part of my madness is to nudge my collaborators out of their comfort zone, especially when I know the results will suit my needs better.

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Technical Issues to Consider When Working with an Illustrator

artist at workYesterday’s post about finding and working with an illustrator focused on the soft stuff: art, personality, style.

Today, let’s chat about bits and formats and whatnot.

Once you’ve settled on a visual collaborator for your book, neither of you should assume the other knows all the technical stuff. Assume a blank slate. Talk about everything. Much of it is a collaborative artistic conversation, not simply a technical or printing issue.

For instance:

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Questions to Consider When You’re Looking for an Illustrator

making the selectionWhen looking for an illustrator, you’ll need to think a bit like a visual artist. This doesn’t always come naturally to folks who create their art with words.

Here are the types of questions and concepts to consider and discuss with a potential illustrator.

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Working with an Illustrator: Meet Davina Kinney

Davina Kinney
Davina Kinney
It appears the lovely and talented Mrs. Kinney is home and dry in her new place in Utah. She and her all ’round good guy of a husband Vince even invited us to drop by on our next Wisconsin-to-California trip.

If you’re writing a children’s book, it’s hard to imagine it without illustrations. Drawings, the shapes and colors, capture a child’s imagination and help develop their love of reading.

I’ve written 30 stories about Ginger, the Ship Captain’s Cat. This year the first few stories will see print, meaning somebody other than me has to bring Ginger to life visually. You’ve already seen a few sketches, done by friend and illustrator Davina Kinney.

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