Illustrating a children’s book has always been a dream for me and in the beginning of 2016 I decided that it was high time I got this dream going. Here I’m going to try to boil down the process of my project to a few blog posts! Hope you will enjoy the read 😊
If you missed part 1 you can read it here.
Ok, so I have decided to illustrate and rewrite Little Red Riding Hood, I’m doing this project in the hope that I will get to work on something similar in the future and to prove myself that I can do it!
Children’s books are usually divided into 12 spreads, this is in total 24 pages used for the story. I started by writing down the main story and then dividing it into 24 different sections. One text section for each page and two for each spread!
This helped me to get an idea about what would happen on each spread.
I spent quite some time on the text and I took time to research the older versions of the story. At first it was all just a few words per spread like “in the forest” or “meets wolf”. I later on took all these parts and patched up the glitches trying to make the story hold and trying to have roughly the same amount of text for each page!
I wrote everything in Swedish, my native language. It would have been hard for me to feel free enough with the flow of the story if I would have had to write it all in English or French... I'm not a language pro!
Since I have creative freedom over this project, I decided to make a few changes to the characters and the story. Often in the old stories the main character Little Red is a blue eyed little blonde girl and the wolf is big and bad.
I did not want to refer to Little Red Riding Hood as a girl even if little red in my story is wearing a red coat, cute boots and likes to bake. My idea was that Little Red could as well be a he! So whenever I had to use the “she” word I exchanged it with the name instead. I also gave Little Red black hair, dark eyes and a slightly tanned skin!
I couldn’t help but feeling a bit sorry for the Big Bad Wolf . He is not that nice but he is mostly driven by hunger. What if he was tall instead of big? And what if I could make him a fun color? Blue maybe? In the end of the old stories he is either killed, chased off or stuck with rocks in his belly. There are many versions of the tragic fate of the poor wolf out there. None of this will happen in my version, even if he will be a bit evil at first ;)
I also worked on some side characters, these are not mentioned in the text but they are in the story all the way from the start to the end. It’s like a hidden Easter egg!
That's it for today, in the next post I will describe how I sketched out the story.