As a child, our imagination has endless possibilities to express creativity as a drawer and painter. In the innocence of childhood we find the love and joy of sharing our imagination. We don't understand what it is to be critiqued, challenged or unique.
This is the key. Illustrators hold onto their "inner child". We continue to acquire the child-like qualities of creativity, imagination and youthfulness while viewing the world today as adults. Yes, illustrators watch cartoons; flip the pages of children's books and act like kids at Disney parks.
We become unique as an illustrator when we explore our own personal mediums and styles. I do not isolate my imagination to one unique creative style or medium.
A story can determine which style will be best represented, and I encourage my authors to be involved with my illustration process. My authors can submit photos of the characters, backgrounds or objects; make recommendations; request changes and approve the illustrations.
We thrive on new challenges, especially those which force us outside of our comfort zone. This requires a huge effort from the imagination. The challenges might involve several hours of research and many sketches to perfect an idea, but from them we gain experience and grow as illustrators.
Other people might question how we express our imagination through art, but the harshest critic is ourself.
My advice to the novice illustrator:
- Chase your dream till it becomes a reality.
- Focus on the end result & how to achieve it.
- Have your illustrations viewed by a professional illustrator or an illustrator's critique group. They provide you with various ways to sharpen your skills and point to areas in need of improvement.
- View the critique as a positive learning experience.
- Never get discouraged; learn from whatever obstacle you face.
- Above all, hold the love and joy of why you are an illustrator; you'd be lost without that pencil and sketchpad to share your imagination, right?