This is a post that I wrote a year ago just before our last illustration course. Because it's still just as relevant now as then and I'm busy setting up another one of our fabulous free webinars and putting together a bonus writing humor for kids course and trying to get the word out about the illustration course (yikes), I decided to run this post again. If you read it, you might enjoy reading it again and if you haven't, well... what more can I say? :)
There's a great saying that Henry Ford allegedly said, "Think you can, think you can't; you're right eitherway."
Most people when they think of illustration, they think about needing to draw like Michaelangelo, which traditional illustration exemplified. And while I love traditional realistic style illustration, I also love many of the books being illustrated right now that incorporate contemporary art moves like collage, abstraction, indigenous art, and expressionism where realism and correct proportions are totally thrown out the window in favor of flavor, fun, emotion, abstraction, and imagination. Both traditionally trained artists and brand new artists access that inner playful childlike place to make their work sing. Below is a wee video of some of my favorites.
If you enjoy this post, please leave a comment and if you'd like to join Houghton Mifflin Harcourt books for young readers and their imprint Clarion Books Associate Art Director Sharismar Rodriguez and me in a fun free webinar/workshop, click the link for that right here. And if you'd like to know more about the course click here!
PS If you know anyone who might be interested in an extraordinary children's book illustrating course scholarship, please share this link http://bit.ly/1NnXLQn
Applications will be ending September 5th.
Wonderful post. When I started last year in February with my illustration exploration I was initially hesitant sharing online and felt like my style is kiddish infact even kids might not like them. However with every single day I explored more and made an attempt to learn more how I can create my own style without copying other artists. After a year now, I am still learning and what is important is to be true to yourself and create your own road to illustration career. This.post made me take a trip down the memory lane and I revisited some of my early works and it is great to see that with each passing day I am still learning and there is so much to learn. Thanks for sharing the blog post.
8/10/2016 10:22:23 am
Hi Neelam - thank you for your lovely comment. You might want to check out our upcoming illustration course here http://bit.ly/KidsBookArt and apply for one of our scholarships here http://bit.ly/1NnXLQn You sound like a great candidate.
Natinder Ferrer Manak
8/17/2016 09:15:49 am
Whenever I have the joy to witness my daughter making art, I witness an act of pure originality Children make art in such ways that time, is irrelevant to the work of art, they approach the blank paper with style and natural courage. Child art and child like art made by adults may differ, but the echo of fun and concept are alike. What makes great art will always be an individual choice, but I’ve always taken a shine to free, mapping, movement, lucid, quick snappy drawings, and more that is often found in child art. Though many books if written with a particular finesse, or, with poetic gestures, the art then may differ, still remaining genius and pure. Picture books are very much like an art exhibition showing much. Thank you Mira.
8/19/2016 12:13:49 pm
Thank you Natinder <3
9/1/2016 05:29:46 am
I have just signed up for your illustration course. This post is very relevant to me because I am trying to figure out if my style is too realistic for todays market. I absolutely love the loose and wild illustrations like the ones you mentioned but whenever I endeavor to try to loosen up myself I don't seem to be able to! As Neelam mentioned above, it is important to be true to ourselves, but does that mean my style is not what the Trade publishers are wanting? I am very lucky and happy to be busy with educational work but I can't help wanting to see my books in the book store. At least more often as I've had some trade opportunities. Anyway thanks for this post!
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break