Creating story and picture book illustrations that add to or enhance a story is what children's book illustrators do best. More than pretty pictures, their illustrations give insight into the meaning of a manuscript.
Working alongside an author or publisher, they conceptualize, then, flesh out characters and events. Children's book illustrators sketch ideas of what characters will look like, depict characters in specific scenes and choose both a style and color palette to match the tone and timbre of the story. Finished artwork often brings words on a page to life.
Whether an umbrella-shaded mother bear, kissing sparrows, or a sleepy elephant wearing a nightcap, their animated depictions–like those of Beatrix Potter, Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss who came before–employ vivid imagination and deliver outstanding craftsmanship.
Children's book illustrators rely on a thorough understanding of a story or book manuscript before they begin sketching. The author or publisher will discuss aspects of the storyline that should be highlighted and will guide the children's book illustrator.
Sometimes preliminary work in the form of storyboards is required. As drawings reach the stage of final artwork, the children's book illustrator must ensure that the meaning of the story has been captured. The children's book illustrator calls upon profound imaginative skill and outstanding draftsmanship to create a one-of-a-kind picture book that will be loved for generations to come.