How to Train Yourself to Illustrate Children's Books

Training Yourself to Illustrate Children's Books is Simple: Study at the Feet of Masters.

How to Train Yourself to Illustrate Children's Books - Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit

For some time, I've wanted to simply write and illustrate children's books. The trick is how to do this. You can find books and books on how to draw, and what good book illustrations consist of.

I made up my mind to simply drop all the other interesting things I'd been doing in favor of simply doing more of what I was interested in and had always known I was heading for - one day.

Getting financial freedom from a home business and being frugal, I was set. No worries from here on out.

Again, where to start?

Looking up the classic children's books found this little nugget about Beatrix Potter, from Wikipedia:
Potter’s artistic and literary interests were deeply influenced by fairies, fairy tales and fantasy. She was a student of the classic fairy tales of Western Europe. As well as stories from the Old Testament, John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, she grew up with Aesop's Fables, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies,[35] the folk tales and mythology of Scotland, the German Romantics, Shakespeare,[36] and the romances of Sir Walter Scott.[37] As a young child, before the age of eight, Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense, including the much loved The Owl and the Pussycat, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland had made their impression, although she later said of Alice that she was more interested in Tenniel's illustrations than what they were about.[38] The Brer Rabbit stories of Joel Chandler Harris had been family favourites, and she later studied his Uncle Remus stories and illustrated them.[39] She studied book illustration from a young age and developed her own tastes, but the work of the picture book triumvirate Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott, the last an illustrator whose work was later collected by her father, was a great influence.[40] When she started to illustrate, she chose first the traditional rhymes and stories, "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "Puss-in-boots", and "Red Riding Hood".[41] But most often her illustrations were fantasies featuring her own pets: mice, rabbits, kittens, and guinea pigs.[42]
So that's the secret - follow and emulate Potter, as well as those linked above - particularly Crane, Greenaway, and Caldecott (as well as Lear, Tenniel, and Harris.)

Since my home business has been republishing public domain books, it's a simple way to get these books paying for my education.

Along with the art, I'll study the texts for style.

Of course, there's a business plan which goes along with making that pay its own way - and that's another story. I'm sure people will want these as ebooks for their tablets as well as hardcopy books to have and hold.

Once I master the arts involved, there is a near infinite supply of legends and stories to inspire children's versions.

So that's how you train yourself to illustrate:
  1. Start with some native talent and some art training of any type.
  2. Study only successful artists in the genre you want to succeed in.
  3. Focus on that one "burning desire" to succeed, and you'll make it.

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