The Magic of Illustration

I’ve had two vacations this summer, each one working its own magic of relaxation a bit differently.   But  the most magical time of this summer washed over me and engulfed me completely  while I was totally absorbed in a delightful new children’s book.  It began in Honderdland with a little boy named Matthijs.

I read it once for the story itself, enjoying and appreciating the author’s imagination.  Then I read it again with an eye for what would make a good illustration….

My hand reached for the mechanical pencil I use for sketching.  It seemed a bit slow at first–it always does–as I  sketched  a variety of faces for possible use.   Then an idea for an illustration came.  As I worked on that one, another  idea crowded in followed by others.   Soon I was very busy.

The creative process took over.  I am constantly amazed by it.  I start out with an idea; I’m in control of that idea…well, for awhile anyway.  Then suddenly the drawing, the illustration, the painting, demands to be changed.  It doesn’t want that bush, cloud, or color there, or it wants darker trees in the foreground; or it won’t stay just a small drawing, it refuses to be complete without more added to it.  Or it says no to all the color I had planned, or it cries out for more color than I had planned.  The details I worked so hard on just don’t fit or draw attention away from where it should be and have to be taken out.  The passage of time means nothing.   My whole focus is this emerging creation.  It’s an enjoyable challenge.  It’s my  high.

This particular project is now complete; it’s at the publisher.  Matthijs in Honderdland, by Inge de Graaf, illustrated by Nancy Dailey, will be out soon.   😀      Woohoo!

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