From Idea to Illustration: An Unexpected Journey



I want to share some of the amazing before and after photos of the book, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night.”

To help provide my illustrator with some direction for the illustrations in the story, I spent an afternoon taking pictures of my kids acting out each of the scenes in the book. Given this was my first book and most importantly a gift to my children, I also wanted the characters in the book illustrated in the likeness of my kids. So this helped provide the illustrator with a guide to follow when creating the characters in the book.

Above and below are some before and after images. To the left is an actual photo of my kids that I Photoshop’d with a pencil sketch filter and to the right is what the illustrator turned the photo into.


Now this was one the most unexpected lessons learned along this book publishing journey – illustration!  I naively thought that the illustrator would just draw the scene, scan it into the computer, add my words and the page would be done. WRONG! So so wrong.
Every illustrator is different, but with technology these days an illustrator can do so many things with Photoshop layers.  Some pages in “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night” are made up of over 100 layers. The layers on many pages added depth to the scene or gave me the flexibility to change something if I didn’t like it, without having to re-draw the entire page. (Like I said – I was very naive).

Looking at the before and after images now just makes this journey all the more worthwhile. Look at how far this “idea,” this silly “story,” has come – from and idea to an AMAZING illustration.

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