Day 9 of the PiBoIdMo challenge. Guess what? This is the only challenge needed to be completely caught up with all of them. I am so excited. I did it! Way to go me!
The article today was another insightful one. It is written by Meredith Mundy, Executive Editor at Sterling Children’s Books. The theme of this was based on a question that she gets asked…A LOT. What question is that, you ask? “Why do authors and illustrators rarely collaborate directly?”
Meredith’s answer was this,
“The reason editors and art directors keep the wordsmith separate from the artist is to allow for maximum inspiration and creative freedom on BOTH sides.”
Basically, it boiled down to this. You have heard of writer’s block. That is one of the writer’s worst enemies, next to themselves, right? Well, illustrators would suffer from the same thing, but instead of being blocked writing words, it would be their drawing and illustrations that got blocked. If an author tells their illustrator that everything is to be a certain way only, and not allow the illustrator to do what he or she does best, the creative juices are squashed. Why? Because they are not allowed to be creative themselves via drawing, like the author was while writing. I can hear you now. “Well, it is MY book because I wrote it. So what I say should go.” Yes, that is true. However, allow the illustrator to be creative. Work as a team. Trust the illustrator. You might be pleasantly surprised. Tara Lazar, Tammi Sauer, and Kim Norman were! The partnership should be 50/50 between author and illustrator. It is okay to relinquish some control sometimes. It is still your book. Nothing can change that. You are the one who wrote it.
Meredith offered a challenge to both writers and illustrators.
To the writer:
“I challenge you to leave 50% of the inspiration to an illustrator.”
As a result of this article and challenge, I am going through my various ideas and pondering which book I would want illustrated first. So many choices! When I am ready, I am sure that the right person to illustrate my book will come along, at the right time.
To the illustrator:
” I challenge you to ignore any illustration notes that don’t inspire you!”
Her closing words were these, and I find myself agreeing with her point of view. I mean, she IS an Exective Editor at Sterling Children’s Books.
“Trust one another from afar, inspire one another at a distance, and then get together AFTER the book is printed to celebrate what your wonderful, individual, untainted visions brought into the world.”
So, the next time you are writing a children’s picture book, do not be afraid to let go of your “baby.” The illustrator will keep it safe and nurture it, with images that could blow your mind. As I said before, it is okay to relinquish some control sometimes. Just breathe, and everything will be alright. Trust your partner, the illustrator of your masterpiece. Remember, it is a team effort. I am willing to give it a try. Are you?
To read this article, go to the following link:
Authors and Illustrators Unite!