• Nancy Chambers

Illustrations and motivations

I have been grappling a bit with illustrations rather than writing this week and the motivations required to create a children's picture book. I have a couple of stories that I have been working on in the past while. One is a Christmas based story that I have been writing and the other one a story that I have been writing with my son, this one is based on a fabulous wee original story that he wrote at school. Both are set in the great outdoors, both have adventure at their heart and take you on a journey. They have both been fun so far in different ways.

A child drawing an aeroplane
Illustrations for his book

Both stories have taken ME on a journey so far! They have been edited and are awaiting illustrations. The Christmas book has had a number of illustrators so far, I had not found the right combination of characters and continuity of drawing yet. This is definitely a project that I have a vision of the illustrations for and the various illustrators that I have asked to draw a test drawing for had not quite got it right. When things get a bit challenging like this it is sometimes a bit more tricky to find the personal motivation to keep going with the project and perhaps put it off until later. I think we are on the right tracks now and hopefully all should be ready soon.

The second book with my son, is much more challenging on a personal nature. He was keen to do the drawings himself and has made a great start. However, it is now becoming more challenging for him to pick up a piece of paper and draw out his story. There are a lot of drawings in each book! Boredom, fatigue or just plain old "I fancy bouncing on the trampoline more" has definitely kicked in. So this week I have been asking myself, how do I make it more fun for him to want to pick up a pencil and draw again. Should I continue to try to motivate him to finish the illustrations off or leave it to the as and when he fancies it as we have been doing. Will it become a mummy project if I do this or can it continue to be an "our project". So many questions to ask myself about my and our motivations to write an illustrate the book.

Perhaps I need to wait until the nights have drawn in a bit and there are less distractions outside. Perhaps it just needs a different view point and a different set of drawings from someone else. Whichever way, I want him to enjoy the process, so he is keen to continue to challenge himself and can see the benefits of continuing to motivate himself in the future, so that whatever adventures and journeys come his way as we wind along will have positive outcomes where possible for him.

Whatever happens with either book, I always aim to enjoy the majority of the process and keep going through the bits that I'm not enjoying. Now to translate it through to the process of a nine year old. Any tips from those that have been there before?

#childrensstories #illustratingstories #makingthingsfun #writing #publishing

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