Monday, April 22, 2013

Of Postmen and Pirates

Time Frame: Saturday's Childhood
Amount of book complete: Two "photo" illustrations and a few concept drawings and not much else.

Creating a set of drawn photos to go into a book isn't a brand new idea, but I don't think it's super common either.  Like I said, the original motivation behind the photo drawings was to let me explore and think about the character concepts, colors, style, etc.  But they served other purposes as well.  Along with adding detail (I love me some detail), I think they help to pull the reader into the story by making the characters more believable.

There was a book I loved when I was a kid called "The Jolly Postman." It was written by Janet and Allen Ahlberg.  The story was about a postman who delivers letters to various fairy tale characters.  It was a fun story with equally fun illustrations, but what really amazed me was that the letters were actually inside the book.  Various pages throughout the book had envelopes glued to them and you could pull the letters out and read them.  It was AWESOME.

I'm not sure how much this book (or any book from my childhood) influenced me later in life, but I think about that book all the time.  Actually including the letters in the book was a great way to involve people in the story and make it seem more believable.  Plus it was super fun.

What book from your childhood was unforgettable?  Why?  If you want to share your answers here, I'll put some of them up next time.

In a way, the photos in "Saturday" play a similar role to the letters in "The Jolly Postman" (I hope so, anyway).  My hope is that they make people more interested in the characters in the book by making readers think about the lives these characters live off the page.

This was the next photo in the group:

As you can see, this was the first version and it's unfinished.  At this point, I knew more or less what the character model was, but this is an early version (you can tell by her glasses).  Here's the final version:

Maybe you can tell from this second drawing, but I was starting to have a LOT of fun here.  That was one of the main goals right from the beginning.  Other goals included:

1.) Make a book that the 10 year old me AND the 30 year old me would want to read
2.) Make a book people would want to read more than once
3.) Create a fun story where every panel was well-drawn and interesting
4.) Brass Ring Goal: Make the book something that will hopefully inspire people to draw.

 Fingers crossed.


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