Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How I choose scenes from a story to illustrate


"Bush" from AngINK Zine issue no. 2: Manimalaman


One of the frequently asked questions and also one of the most challenging aspect in illustrating children's books is choosing the scenes from the passage.

Here are my own guides in choosing which part of the story to illustrate:

1. Pick scenes that can look good visually and can be sustained consistently throughout the book.

Appealing words, themes, or objects lifted from the text can be used as inspiration or the focal point of the scene. Personally, visually pleasing in children's books means: harmonious, balanced, rhythmic, fantastic 

2. Out of the possible scenarios, imagine and choose the best scene that create a dramatic effect.

Which among the possible scenes can:
a. use composition in establishing eye direction.
b. be played around with scale and perspective
c. draw attention through color blocking.
d. spark imaginative thinking

3. Show rather than tell.

Select scenes that have the potential to:
a. establish a mood
b. create a specific setting and inform through details
c. compose a dynamic scene more than a still life.

4. Scenes that best summarize the essence of a passage

When no interesting imagery comes out from the passage, create a "commentary" image by interpreting the text based on personal experiences.

5. The "in-between" scenes

Sometimes there are moments in the scene where it is not directly stated, those scenes provide a word-image synergy when illustrated.



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