Author and Illustrator Sarah Dyer on her Creative Process

I’m currently working on my first children’s book illustration project. I find it fascinating to hear about other illustrators creative processes.

I recently found this video where author and illustrator Sarah Dyer talks about her creative process for writing and illustrating her children’s book called Batty.

Sarah initially begins work in her sketchbook, recording all of her ideas in both pictures and words. She then moves on to creating a series of dummy books (a mock-up of the book), making changes and improvements in each new dummy book. The dummy books get larger in size as she works. I assume that this is because its much easier and quicker to make changes to smaller dummy books, which would be useful in the early drafting stages.

Once she has a layout she is happy with, she adds the text and then gets feedback from the editors and publishers. Once she and the editors / publishers are happy, she creates the colour illustrations by painting over her black and white line drawings on a light box.

What I found most interesting about this video is the amount of dummy books Sarah makes. I imagine they are a very important tool for planning a picture book and in understanding how the readers will experience the final outcome.

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