Funnily enough, talking to some author/illustrators over the summer, they encouraged using (some) illo notes but editors and agents tend to say it’s a no-go!
Judging from your photograph, that would mean that you started in the business when you were 7 or 8 years old! From an illustrator’s standpoint, I think you are absolutely right.
I was still trying to figure out how to erase all the doodles in the margins of my notebook paper before I handed in my homework at that age….. A gentle nudge in the right direction is always helpful, but when an artist is told exactly how each drawing should look, the entire project tends to lose its spontaneity. As a writer AND an illustrator who has worked with art directors and editors AS WELL AS directly with self-published authors, I know first hand that direction that is TOO specific saps the life right out of an illustration, and causes the illustrator to feel like they are on a very short leash…..ultimately not good for the end result! Would love to work with authors like that some day! As an aspiring author without the guidance of an agent/editor it is challenging to know the correct balance. It is a challenge not to include the notes being a very visual person, but I have been learning to be more visual with my text to impart the feel of what I imagine. Good to hear that not including them is braver than keeping them in.
You are not alone and by no means have to do all the heavy lifting. And for those of you illustrating picture books, I challenge you to ignore any illustration notes that don’t inspire you! “The reason editors and art directors keep the wordsmith separate from the artist is to allow for maximum inspiration and creative freedom on BOTH sides.” Brilliant point.
Trust one another from afar, inspire one another at a distance, and then get together AFTER the book is printed to celebrate what your wonderful, individual, untainted visions brought into the world. The fact that “shared vision” could mean leaving the ending for the illustrator to dream up is something I’d never considered before. A lack of distance would kill the creative process, or at least stifle it.
Meredith Mundy, Executive Editor at Sterling Children’s Books, has always had a passion for character-centered picture books with heart, but she is also seeking everything from funny, original board books to unforgettable middle grade novels to gripping contemporary YA fiction. What great examples of artist/author collaboration! I know my limits, as a writer, and often marvel at the cleverness of artists to allow a story to soar.
While she enjoys editing lively nonfiction, she wouldn’t be the right editor for poetry collections or projects geared primarily toward the school and library market. But, the wonderful Ponder Goembel made him a rabbit. These days, I read new PB’s twice: once, barely ‘looking’ at the pics (hard to put those blinders on!Best Film company of All Time is a public top list created by Listnerd on on November 27th 2012.Items on the Best Film company of All Time top list are added by the community and ranked using our secret ranking sauce. Best Film company of All Time is a top list in the TV & Movies category on Meredith is very proud to be blogging alongside such a wonderful group of people, including five stellar Sterling authors/illustrators whose picture books are among her very favorites: Josh Funk, Tara Lazar, Kim Norman, Tammi Sauer, and Liza Woodruff. ), to see what the text says, and then a second time, to see how the artist expanded on it.As someone without any artistic talent, I find it such a RELIEF to be able to leave illustrations completely up to illustrators. This helps me to learn what needs to be in the text, and what doesn’t. It takes some pressure off the the writer and gives added freedom to the illustrator. They are perfect examples of how a leap of faith in your illustrator’s ability is more than worth it!Unfortunately, I am hearing how publishers are preferring author-illustrators these days. Editors continue to be eager to find great manuscripts because they know so many wonderful illustrators capable of illustrating them. It’s a marriage really and the result is the birthing of an incredible book.