MATS A, Week 3 Picture Books


This week was a real eye-opener.  I've illustrated for books before, but never children's books, and that was the big theme this week.  It was exhilarating.  I had so much fun illustrating the goats and then the trolls, but I was left a bit sad afterward.  I want to keep going... I had so many ideas that I didn't get to illustrate for this one!!

Let's get to the meat here... Here's my image.  I think it's fairly easy to figure out which fairytale this particular scene represents, but just in case... it's from "The Three Billy Goats Gruff".  It's when the littlest goat first meets the troll.

During my research phase (all of 30 minutes), I found out that goat farmers don't like calling male goats "billies" and they prefer the intact male goats be called "bucks" or "rams."  There you have it!  And, this story is really, really violent!  I cannot imagine illustrating the traditional story for super young kids.  I left that to my peers and they did some lovely innocent twists on the story.  I took the assignment as-is, and my direction aimed toward a bit older audience (kids maybe 8+ years old).

I thought it would be really cool to do a comic/graphic novel-type hybrid with the picture book and proposed inserting two panels to illustrate the fear and panic of the littlest goat, but my peers thought it took away from my illustration. The leftmost inserts would have been black and white and shown the hooves of the little guy as he first steps onto the bridge. Dramatic!!  I'd love to hear what you think!

I found that my scenic art background came in really handy in this assignment.  It's what I enjoyed the most.  I loved painting the background and creating the forest and the waves.  AAND, I especially loved doing the troll.  So much fun!  His back absesses and hair and six fingers, yellow teeth, etc. etc.  Had I more time to develop my characters I wanted to add a bat and mushrooms, dead animals, etc. to his fur.  So many ideas!

And, for my fellow artist and illustrator friends who are curious about my process...

Here's are a few WIP screenshots...

And the character development phase...

These are the two fave pages of goats.  There were maybe 10 or 12 sheets full of goats. :D

"Friends" or maybe "Three's Company" meets "3 Billy Goats Gruff":

Baby Goats!!

This week's course materials were really great. The interview with Mike Lowery reminded me that illustrators are people.  Yes, I know, I'm an illustrator and also qualify as a person.  But, sometimes we make such a pedestal out of our dreams that we forget the daily steps it took for regular people to get there!  There was also an interview with a Hatchett Book art director which was really great for learning the process by which picture books become a reality.  It sounds lengthy, but I know a thing or two about that (see my knitting designs)!

Aaaand, this week's favorite for me was actually a bonus by Lilla.  She included this really great worksheet about dealing with self-critique and envy.  I'm constantly at odds with myself.  "Is my style good enough? Marketable enough?  Is it even a style?" All these doubts!  It's great to hear I'm not alone.  Although, it would also be great to have actual answers to these questions. HAH!  Whatever the case may be, I look forward to "Wall Art" which is next week's assignment.
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