Over the years I've reviewed a number of books from 3dtotal.com, all of them fantastic, and one of the latest to hit their store is "How to be a Children's Book Illiustrator." This incredible book clearly shows the mechanics behind creating a children's book, with beautiful, full-color illustrations, sample stories, top insights into the craft, and expert tips you just won't find anywhere else.
This particular book came at just the right time for me, personally, as I just started working on a project with my 7 year old daughter - a children's book, of course. The idea came when she drew a character and had a bit of interactive fun. Joining in with her, I came to realize the potential for a children's story based on her character. Now, I'm sure many of us with kids, have read through a number of children's books and had the thought that it couldn't be too hard to accomplish. However, when you actually sit down to the task, it's not as easy as you may think. This is where a book like "How to be a Children's Book Illiustrator" is much needed.
The book is organized into 8 introductory chapters, which cover everything from considering your audience for a children's book, all the way to considering illustration as a profession. Along the way, you learn about illustrating a narrative and actually writing the story, so don't let the title of this book speak on it's own, as there is so much covered beyond simply illustrating. How you approach concept, character-building, the colors you choose, and deeper meanings are all discussed.
After the intro chapters comes the 'meat' of the book, which is divided among eight sample stories from some top children's artists, and complete breakdowns on their process from concept through creation. The example stories included are all unique in their look and approach to concept. And, I especially love the details covered on character design and color considerations.
As a children's book author, you need to really put yourself into the child's mindset. Exploring different techniques for storytelling and illustrating a narrative that appeals to young minds is really of utmost importance. This book covers all of this very well, and gives you all the tools and examples you need for staging your own story and creating the flow and small details that will engage young readers.
If you ever had the fleeting thought of creating a children's book, or even if you are already a writer/illustrator of children's books, there is much to be gained by seeing the process so clearly laid out. Plus, you are also treated to great info on getting into the industry, building a portfolio, publishing, and the legal aspects you need to know. Not only that, but the book itself is absolutely beautiful. Available in hardcover, with excellent print on high-quality paper, this book would be a great addition to anyone's bookshelf. Be sure to check this one out, and also take a look at 3dtotal's other great books at their website.
Title: How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.25 x 11 inches
Nick C Sorbin (Nick Charles) is a former Managing Editor of 9 years for Renderosity's CG Industry News. By day, a mild-mannered Certified Pharmacy Technician working in both home infusion and a hospital ER, contrasting creative outlets as a digital artist, sculptor, musician, singer/songwriter, and Staff Writer for Renderosity Magazine. Read his articles