Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Dum and Dummier"-Part I

For the most part, I've focused on developing my art for the children's book industry. I know one of the best ways to display my skills as an illustrator is to create a dummy book showing that I'm skilled in consistency, pacing, narrative, etc. The furthest I've ever gone with a dummy book is the storyboard stage. You know, where you draw a bunch of thumbnails (tiny squares) on a page and pace out the story?

Until now. One day this story just popped into my head, but it took four more days to wrestle the entire thing into something I liked. After five drafts I had written a simple concept book. Really simple-it has only seventy-seven words. (that's right 7-7.)

It took me six tries before I was happy with the direction and spread layout of the story. That's right. I created six storyboards for a story with seventy seven words. Not only that, but I have plans to create as many as three separate books for this story. I have a concept that may not mesh well with the rest of the art, so I do one book with it and one without and compare. No ever said this was easy!

Here's a peek at some of what I've been working on. The first of three dummies accordions across my desk. Each page is two and half inches wide by two inches tall.

Here's a close up of one of the double page spreads. Once I complete each version of the story, and pick the one I think is strongest (no doubt with some tweaks here and there) I'll then move on to the full-sized paper and begin the task of illustrating the art in actual size.

After that, I'll pick one or two double spreads and take them to complete art-rendering them in paint, ink, pencil, etc. Once that is done, I'll scan all of the pages in, load them as a pdf on my computer, dink around with the sizes again, and print out at least three copies of the pages. Then comes the binding!

I don't think I want to think about that just yet. I was so happy I'd completed a dummy today. *Sigh* I still have a long way to go, but I'm really looking forward to it. I find this process completely satisfying.


  1. This is a great report -- and a great reminder that it can take six or more tries before one feels pleased with the flow of a storyboard.

    Congratulations on your persistence and sense of satisfaction, D!

    I'd love to link to this post on my blog!


  2. Go ahead, Mark. :) Feel free to link to the resulting posts as well. I'm going to try and document as I go along.


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