Can You Be an Illustrator? | God's World News

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Can You Be an Illustrator?
Take Apart SMART!
Posted: May 01, 2024
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    Draw what’s in front of you. (Krieg Barrie)
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    Try different materials and styles. (Krieg Barrie)
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    Making practice books can help you decide whether your pages should be horizontal or vertical. (Krieg Barrie)
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    Quentin Blake’s drawings have a recognizable style. (AP/Jonathan Short)
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    What will you draw? (Pixabay)
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Some illustrators write their own books. Others work with authors, but even then the author doesn’t do all the creative stuff. In the best picture books, illustrations tell part of the tale too.

Got questions about being an illustrator? Maybe we’ve answered them below!

What if I’m not a good enough artist?

Even the most successful artists feel “not good enough” sometimes. The illustrator Quentin Blake had some wisdom about this problem. “Everybody can draw something,” he told Artists and Illustrators Magazine. He advises people to draw what they see in front of them: “If you look at it later, you’ll be surprised at what you brought away from that person, that situation, that landscape.” So take Mr. Blake’s advice. Draw what’s right in front of you—right now!

What materials should I use?

Try everything. Maybe your characters want bright, bold paint. Maybe they want fine lines in pencil or pen, gentle water colors, or chalky pastels. Maybe they want to be big, brave shapes without black lines around them at all. If so, you can draw your figures in a lighter pencil and use heavy shading to fill them in.

How do I make a “dummy”?

A “dummy” is a practice book. It helps you decide which words will go on each set of pages. Most picture books have around 32 pages and between 500 and 1,000 words. Your “dummy” will too. Now you can decide: Do you want your pages to be horizontal or vertical? Your subject can help you choose. A book about a long snake might work better with the snake sprawling across a horizontal spread. A book with lots of skyscrapers, giants, or tall trees might display better vertically.

For more on illustrating, see What Do Illustrators Do? by Eileen Christelow in our Recommended Reading.