Saturday, 19 March 2011

Brian G Karas's process in Neville, by Norton Juster

Artist and children's author-illustrator Brian Karas,  whom I invited a while back to talk for SCBWI France about his book The Young Zeus
shows a great way to use a free 3D computer modelling tool, Google Sketchup for visualizing a house and neighbourhood, in his great  trailer for his new book Neville written by Norton Juster (of Phantom Tollbooth fame).

But what really makes it all work, in my book,  is the feeling behind the process,  how he puts himself in in the shoes of his main character, into his world.  

When you've got that identification right, when you feel at home in the story, any or every tool you use to help you illustrate it, will work.   

As illustrators  we can easily get  hung up on style  -   one way to do things, one type of process.  To me, that's putting the cart before the horse.  The horse is the content - that's what drives us.  And with that,  we can draw along (excuse the pun!)  with a single nib or a whole wonderful cartload of pens, computer software,  paints, paper - you name it!  

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