Saturday, September 27, 2008

Picture books 1.

I'm not sure how well this blog will come out as I'm feeling a little woozy from too much lunch and too little sleep.

The thing I wanted to write about is something I've been thinking a lot about since finishing the course. It's the matter of content in picture books. I may need to do this blog in installments, since I've come to the conclusion the subject matter is a mammoth disguising itself as a mouse.

A little bit of background.

During the course, I remained fairly convinced that I would draw for older kids (I think you'll see what I mean by looking at my website). The only problem being that I loved visual story-telling.
Whilst I'm still raring to get my teeth into front covers and the like, I also wanted to learn the art of narrative and this only really currently exists in picture books.

Picture books are published in the States for readers up to the age of 7 (or in rare cases up to the age of 11). However, in the UK, 3-5 years is your market. So, you see my dilemma. To admit defeat on visual storytelling, or to adapt ones' style for a younger audience? I'm a complete stick-in-the-mud, if you want to be polite, (and a stubborn ass if you don't). There was no way I would give up on visual narrative so adapting my style was the only option left, but what did this mean?

I'm not sure I was even clear on what a picture book was. What was the difference between a picture book and a story book for example? I'd been using the two words interchangably before. What were the essentials to the picture book medium?

For the record, a picture book is a book told primarily by visuals, with text to clarify or to meet the pictures where illustration is impossible. Words and pictures should complement but never repeat eachother's point. A story book is when a text can exist on its' own to give a complete narrative, but with pictures to break it up. The story book is near extinct as it sadly isn't deemed saleable.


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