Alison: I’d really love to illustrate another book whether it be a picture book that I have written or someone else’s or the interior line art for a chapter book or middle grade in my current cartoony style.
Alison: I guess my biggest art regret is that I didn’t take painting classes in college. I earned a double major in Architecture and City Planning for my B.ENVD and then a BFA in Toy Design so I took many drafting classes and drawing classes for presentation art, industrial design, and marketing products but I didn’t get to take painting classes until I was out of school and older. Juggling a family, volunteer work, doing school visits, hosting Doodle Day, and writing and illustrating leaves little time for painting classes but I squeeze them in anyway. I love painting and feel that I missed out on years of enjoying this form of expression.
Alison: I think it’s important to know that when you are creating your dummy, you should start with thumbnail drawings that totally lack detail. Use blobs or geometric shapes to first establish the layout of each page and make sure you have enough scenes and perspective changes to keep the reader interested. Wait until you like the layout of the entire 32 pages before you draw any details and then just double the size of the thumbnails – maybe 2” x 2” or so which still isn’t room for much detail but enough to establish positioning of the page elements including characters and text. See attached thumbnail template I use to start laying out the scenes in a book dummy.
Use the thumbnail template and draw thumbnails of each of your spreads. These should be loose drawings and shouldn't take you more than a few minutes for each drawing. They only need to make sense to you! If you are working with text, then determine where the words are going now.