by Jess Jordan
How I came up with the idea: After doing some research of my own on different types of children’s picture books, I learned that it can be a good idea to have the characters as animals. This way there’s not a standard of how the child will look so more kids will be able to connect to the story better. So, once I picked out the animal in which my story would be based off of (penguins), I continued to brainstorm ideas until I came up with the dance idea. However, to make a good story there has to be a risk factor. In this case, it’s Peter losing his bowtie right before he and his friends are supposed to be leaving for the dance. I thought this could also make for good illustrations because we can have the penguins searching and messing up Peter’s room, something I’m sure many kids are familiar with.
The drawing/sketching process: I began with a basic character sketch of the penguins. From here, I began pairing up illustrations with each of the pages from my manuscript. For some of my previous writings, I actually started with sketch ideas first and then began writing the story, but for this particular story I found it a lot easier to base the images off of the manuscript/storyline. I like the contour line illustration style, I find it simple but still engaging to look at, so I knew I wanted to try to do this style as well. Although I haven’t yet completed the final illustrations, I do have the basic outlines and concepts done.
Putting it all together: Once I went through the critique and revision processes for the manuscript, I was able to put the words and images together into a rough draft of the book. I had already divided up what sections of the manuscripts would go on the different pages, so it made it easier to put the lines with the sketches. I used the Adobe programs to make the initial sketches and then to add the text onto the pages.