Writers' Links:

Book Design, Illustration
& Art Direction

10 Things I Hate About Your Web Portfolio from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: "If you can do people, show me that. If you can't--if your proportions are always a bit off and you can't get a 3/4 profile right and you can't figure out why your children just look like short adults, then for the love of mike, don't do people."

An Interview with Laurent Linn: Art Director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers by Lee Wind from I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Peek: "It's truly the artist’s overall style, really. The medium, the color palettes, composition, character and scene design.... All these elements, put together with the artist's personal vision and talents, add up to one's unique 'voice' or 'style.'" Note: "the latest in our series of exclusive SCBWI Team Blog pre-conference interviews with SCBWI Winter Conference speakers and keynoters." Source:Alice's CWIM Blog.

Manuscript Formatting for Beginners by Kent Brewster from Speculations: For Writers Who Want to be Read.

"Picture Book Manuscripts and Illustrations" by Harold Underdown from The Purple Crayon. An excellent Q&A article covering commonly asked questions about picture book submissions. Topics include: connecting with an illustrator, illustration notes, visual references, package submissions, and authors who themselves are also professional illustrators.

SCBWI Team Blog Interview with Art Director Lucy Ruth Cummins by Jaime from CocoaStomp. Peek: “Often if I'm totally 'in the zone' working on a book, I'll have a hard time checking out the moment the whistle blows. Really flowing with a project is such a wonderful feeling, and squandering that flow is something I try never to do.”

Some Thoughts on Book Design from Alvina Ling at Blue Rose Girls. Peek: "Personally, I trust our designers and their vision, and love working with them on cover designs. In some cases, I have an idea of what I want the cover to look like, but oftentimes I'll wait and see what the designer comes up with first so as not to taint their creativity."

The Evolution of Identity (for illustrators) from Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Peek: "Coming from a graphic design background (as I did), I used to think the opposite. 'Isn't it good to show you're flexible, that you are capable of many different looks and can help a publisher with different needs?' The answer is no."

How to Be a Children's Book Illustrator: online course (with accompanying blog) from author-illustrator Mark G. Mitchell. Peek: "Comprehensive, illustrated lessons come in PDF sessions that you can download and save. Monthly online group calls with teacher Mark Mitchell provide a valuable (but still fun) interactive component. Students also have 24 hour access to the Children’s Book Illustration Wiggio group site where they can chat with each other and Mark, check messages, review portfolios and share files and links." Webmaster Note: Highly recommended.

How to Make a Storyboard: An Illustrated Tutorial from "Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books" by Uri Shulevitz from Mighty Art Demos and Tutorials. Peek: "The storyboard gives you a bird's eye view of the whole book: it shows all the pages of the book, greatly reduced, on a single sheet of paper."

Q & A with Associate Art Directors Tracy Shaw and Alison Impey of Little, Brown by Alvina Ling from Blue Rose Girls. Peek from Tracy: "...the weirdest places I've found inspiration would have to be either a chewing gum ad or a perfume sample label."