Masters tales

Shall I illustrate my stories?

I draw. Normally Welsh Life but I can draw and paint almost any subject. My forte is animal and people portraits. Except I am not earning money at it. I used to but I stopped because I found it difficult to see the original leave. My workshop is surrounded by my art and I love doing it. But with me branching into children’s stories I have been thinking about illustrating them. After all, the originals stay with me and are just reproduced. So essentially there will be no ‘break-up’ between me and the artwork. 🙂

shire horses I have already decided to add some illustrations to my dissertation, just on the front cover, not in the actual text, but I’m uncertain whether to send them to the publisher. I’ve read that it can damage the submission.

Picture books are different; publishers expect to see illustrations with the story, but the older stories I’m not certain.

jellyfishSo I’ve decided to do some illustrations but not submit them with the manuscript – when it’s ready. Just use them to give the dissertation a little something extra. If the manuscript is accepted by a publisher I’ll show them and see what they say. But I think I’ll listen to the advice and only send illustrations with any picture books I write.

I will illustrate my stories though – it helps with the characters I’m creating. I see my stories in pictures and sometimes it is easier to get the character if I doodle the head first. I’ll just finish the character I’ve drawn into a complete illustration. Probably pen and ink and water-colour like the jellyfish above. I’ll post them as soon as they are complete… 🙂


7 thoughts on “Shall I illustrate my stories?

  1. I think every children’s story should be illustrated! It adds to the magic of them, if Quentin Blake didn’t illustrate Roald Dahl’s children’s stories they would lose their magic. I think there’s no question 🙂 personally I only wish I could draw as I can’t draw a thing, otherwise I would design my own covers and illustrate my stories.

    1. I love the illustrations by Quentin Blake and I remember most of my favourite stories from childhood by the illustrations. I had a copy of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ with illustrations and I wore the copy out! But now it is the pen and ink pictures I remember.

  2. There’s always the possibility of adding the illustrations to e-formats as well. Whatever the outcome, this is a nice situation for you to be in, as both writer and artist–a sort of embarrassment of riches as they say. Kudos to you.

  3. My dad’s an artist and he has taught all of us to see the magic in everything! Children’s books are always judged for:

    1. Being a good story
    2. Having a good moral
    3. Having rich illustrations (not always required, but appreciated)

    Your art is actually quite beautiful and I think it rocks that you take care of both writing and illustrating!

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