Let's make a Children's Book! Part 1

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  😊


Here it goes.

I have been talking to a lot of people lately and all of them are saying that they would love to write a children's book! I myself am one of those, I guess it’s one of these things people say because it seems like an easy and fun thing to do. But why isn’t everyone doing it then?

As I said earlier, creating a children’s book has always been a dream, but where to begin? I started looking at different publishers and reading up on how the process usually works. I read about how to write good stories for children and I watched videos where illustrators talk about their creative process and the different ways to go about it. I spent a lot of time just thinking and studying to be able to find a clear path.

So how does one work with a publisher? Most of the times the publisher contacts the illustrator they want for the job. This means there's an author who’s written the story, and there are usually art directors and editors working in the publisher's office. If you don’t want to work with a publisher you could of course write, illustrate and publish the book yourself. Something that's usually needed for this option is some sort of capital, either from your own pockets or from investors.

Before the publisher can trust that you are a good illustrator for children’s books you need to be able to prove that you can illustrate stories. So just sitting around waiting to be recognised by a good publisher won’t really happen by itself. You need to create some sort of proof that you got what it takes. And here is initially where my children's book project was born.

Starting from scratch can be pretty hard and tedious work. I quickly decided that I wanted to focus more on the illustrations rather than on the story.  So using an already existing story could be a good option for me. After a few days of reading and thinking I decided that I wanted to create a new version of the old classic folk tale: Little Red Riding Hood. 

I know, I know! It’s not really that original to go for this story, considering there already is a lot of books out there with this folk tale in different shapes and sizes. I remember this story from being a kid and I spent a lot of time being scared of the forest and the big bad wolf. I’ve always been amazed about how scary and bloody the tale is even if it’s written for kids! It's just amazingly crazy!

That's it for today, in the next post I will describe how I went about adapting the story! You can read it here.