I am pleased to introduce my dear friend Amal -- one of my East Coast Conference Posse (clockwise, Penny Weber, Lynne Marie, Deborah Cuneo and Amal Karzai). Although I am hardly an illustrator, these extremely talented illustrators and writer/illustrators who let me hang out with them and sometimes let me humor them with my stories and cut-paper art which I dabble in!
I can only say it is a pleasure to witness Amal's genius in writing and illustration first-hand, and I am proud to share one of her tips with you.
On illustration: To make things easier when approaching a book consider the whole story, where you can take it, how far you can take it, and ways to endear the character to yourself. If you love the character there's a positive chance that someone else will too.To set the tone before storyboarding I work the cover art first, even if it's not what the art director chooses for the cover. It lets me know how to proceed -- a necessary launching pad of sorts. Because I judge books by their covers, and because I don't judge anyone who picks one up for the title font, the cover art counts double -- like the first page of a novel, we want them to keep flipping pages.
LEFT: The portrait in red is titled Mirror Image. So what else does one do with oneself at 2am but play Sudoku and paint a self portrait. Oil on canvas.
RIGHT: The Vault is an illustration that belongs to Mercurial - A day in the life of Anaka Twarpick. It's the picture book sequel to Stravinsky's Lost Music. Mixed media
The cover art is for Ali's Special Cure - a picture book being published by Tazeen Ahmed and due out end of 2010. It's about a young boy who learns the power of prayer. Kinda apt for the times....The artwork is in watercolor.