Paul Schmid: What Illustrator’s Can Teach Writers

I just love it when I find a great Youtube series.  The Western Washington region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators had created a series of Youtube videos featuring some of their illustrators.  The producer is Dana Sullivan.  He is the Assistant Regional Advisor for the Region and, obviously, very talented himself.

The first video in the series, or at least the first one I found, features illustrator Paul Schmid.  He discusses his work on A Pet for Petunia.  

I don’t know a whole lot about illustration, so I really enjoyed hearing Schmid explain how he uses line to convey various aspects of Petunia’s personality, specifically that she is high energy, as well as how design elements enter into telling the story and conveying her emotional state at that particular point in time.  I also found it fascinating that he combines the super inexpensive (drug store Pentel pencils) with high tech (using Photoshop).

As a writer, I know how much work I put into a project, but I’ve always been a bit clueless as to how much work goes into it from the illustrator’s end.  After watching this, I realize how much effort Schmid puts into creating artwork that looks effortless and free.

If that isn’t a take away for writers, I don’t know what is.



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