Matching the Written Word and Illustrations
I’m currently working with a friend of mine who I’ve known for a couple of years. His name is Mike Bryson and he’s an illustrator. You can take a look at some of his work at www.drawnbymike.com
The project we’re working on is a book for children I’ve decided to publish for myself this year and also to produce it as an Audio Disk and package the two together.
The manuscript is still a work in progress. I planned to have it completed by the end of this month and so far, fingers crossed, it seems to be heading that way. Then will come the ‘evaluation’ period where I try and get as much useful feedback as possible before moving ahead.
Mike is a great illustrator and I love his work, but matching up the written word with someone else’s ideas of what a character looks like is quite difficult. Not always, but mostly. Well, I find it so. I’m probably the worst person to work with in this respect.
Take this current project for example…I sort of had an idea what the main boy character looked like, but only vaguely. I knew what he didn’t look like though. Then Mike sent across a few early rough sketches for me to look at and to be honest it rocked me back on my heels. I just hadn’t seen the boy in this light. It sort of worked, but in an entirely new direction which made me want to go back to my script and begin to furiously re-write. But I didn’t.
Now I have to really dig deep and make up my mind what the character should look like. This is not easy of course, someone (Mike in this case) has spent time and effort to draw the character and here I am umming and ahhing about hairstyles, length of trousers, ears, nose, attitude.
So, for today at least, it’s back to the manuscript and more tidying up and rewriting in the hope that something will click in my mind about what to suggest to Mike….”Can we have him a little less street-wise and a tad more geeky?” Then poor old Mike has to translate that waffle into a drawing.
Blimey – and I thought writing was difficult, imagine what it must be like to be an illustrator!