I am one of those creative folks who absolutely must CREATE. Directing choirs and singing are problematic in this time of social distancing. So, I have had to channel my creative juices into other avenues. I have been writing and illustrating a new Picture Book. After coming up with the initial story and plot ideas, I started designing the characters and settings and layout. Herein lies the challenge.
The story is about two young sisters who have different playing styles and yet must find some way to play together. PLOT --- fairly straightforward. Now how to give the story some humor and charm? The SETTING is mostly in the girls' bedroom for the first third of the book. Do I clutter up the focus by adding pattern and texture in the backgrounds? Hmm... So that leaves the burden of interest squarely on CHARACTER. One or the other or both of these girls are featured on every page. The story takes place all in one day, so it doesn't make sense to change costumes, hairstyles, or age in the drawings. So, my only choice is to get really good at drawing PERSONALITY. (Not so sure if I am doing very well.)
This project has been all-consuming and rather frustrating. I start off with pencil sketches, progressing on to ink and watercolor paintings. But then in order to set the book layout with text, I need to scan the images into the computer. My scanner doesn't do a very good job of capturing the nuances of the watercolors. So, my only option is to "fix" them in Photoshop. Unfortunately, the paintings lose a lot of spontaneity with all of this "fixing." Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for such powerful tech tools to help me self-publish these little storybooks. Just wish I was more tech savvy so that I knew how to use these tools better.
Meet Kathryn and Carolyn, sisters who (after a day of trial and error) finally find an activity they both enjoy doing together.