Jenn Rackham
Tell Me Your Story

Illustration Blogs

Children's Book #2

So this is my second try at making a Children's book. 

The first was Taniwha (It's going through a second print due to Bi-lingual additions and us working with a distributor)

the second is this one I'm working on! I know when games and movies are in the making and they don't want media leaking it (oh how I wish people would want to leak my stuff), they make a nickname for it...

this one will be... Noir is asleep. (Noir is the name of my cat)

Anyway so Noir is asleep is in progress. I've received the text from my partner in crime, Mike Johnson, and it's taken weeks for me to imagine up the pictures to fit the text.

We've run into some problems though... that... it's too long. Now there is nothing wrong with the length of the book. It's just... it's just too much work for me. Taniwha was 23 pages long and that took 2 months. So how long will this one take? 

With children's book, I believe there is a fine balance of pictures vs words. 

The younger your audience is, the more the pictures should be. And not just tiny pictures all crammed into one page either; you need big, open pictures. 

And if I'm going to add space for two languages, this means I have to make enough white space to fit that all in. 

So there's been a bit of delay talking to my writer about this problem. 

But for now, I hate waiting, so decided to get cracking on the page 2 and 3. 

Here's the work in progress. 

Yuuuup, It looks like two chickens about to slam into one another. 

I'm going to leave this to your imagination. 

Anyway first step in making children's books is: 

1: Plan how many pages you will have. 

Think about what kind of printing system you will use. The one we use only allows even pages. So you need to know how many pages you can have.

You will also need to think about pages you want to stretch out to two pages. Like the page above, I knew these two pages will be facing one another, so I have drawn with a mirror image effect in mind.

 

Lastly you will need to think of the pacing of the story. If you have four pages that has two sentences, then succession of one pages with lots of texts, it can be jarring to children. Keep a rhythm.  It's easy to put lots of texts in one page when you're tired, or you're at the end. 

Now if you have done this, draw a stick figure storyboard. Once you're happy with it, start drawing! :D Don't be afraid to change them as you see fit. 

My super story-boarding techniques.

My super story-boarding techniques.

For this project, there were quite a lot of texts. I wasn't sure how to fit them all in without making tons and tons of pages, so I went to the local library and got bunch of them out! 

I was lucky we had very beautiful collection of Children's books! 

I had really good ideas of how to save space, what font sizes looked good and even the texture! 

Sure I can look at it online, but having it there in my hands really made a difference.

Anyway, gotta go draw now. Until next time!