Friday, October 19, 2012

creating a children's story and illustrations

"Out and About with Skip the Goat, is the first story that I both wrote and illustrated in a series for Wild Animal Baby magazine. I admit, the story line is simple, and the word count isn't high. Consider though how difficult it is to tell a story with 6 pages and ten sentences. 

For this story I envisioned a farm out in a rural area at dusk with the sun setting over some distant hills. The cover art is in muted colors with the setting of the barn, house and farmland mapped out. The figures are small but I show clearly that the goats and people are headed into a brightly lit doorway. On the second page we can see our main character, Karl tenderly cuddling his baby goat as his mother calls the goats into the warmth of the barn. The center spread is full of interesting details about goat farm life, some buckets, brooms, hay, water, and food. These are all the things I would point to and talk about if I were reading this story to a young child. Our boy Karl is being very helpful which is also an important point. And then, the sleepy tucking-into-bed scene which I always love in a good story. Even if it is just the goats going to sleep.
Notice the detail, the foreshadowing of a climax in the story arc, the owl in the barn!

In the concluding illustration I wanted to show a real wild animal that could very well be sleeping in the barn all day waiting for the moment to get out and be wild at night.