Are you interested in knowing more about how children’s book illustrators work? Here’s a step-by-step process and how to get involved in this exciting field.
By Carolyn Edlund
Cherish Flieder, a Colorado native and children’s book illustrator, spoke with me recently about her career and how she has developed her full-time business.What’s the process of illustrating a book? Cherish explained the steps, in general:
- Break the manuscript into a storyboard layout, creating a thumbnail sketch of what happens on each page spread. The focus of this step is to make sure the story flows visually.
- Get the publisher’s approval of the preliminary work.
- Research and acquire photo reference to create final line drawings for each illustration.
- Develop character model sheets.
- Work on black and white value studies. This adds drama to the illustrations and carries the concepts throughout the story.
- Color versions are created for each page. Working with the publisher, they show the finished set and consult on any changes that will be needed.
- After any modifications are made, the final illustrations are produced.
- Scanning of the illustrations is done by digital image capture. A color press proof is made and final files are delivered to the publisher on disc or FTP.
- Cherish and Ben may design covers and packaging for the book as well, taking the project from concept to final product.