February is #sketchsquall month!

If you participated in Tara Lazar’s wonderful #Storystorm picture book idea challenge this year, Sue Macartney and I invite you to join us for the #sketchsquall challenge to create one sketch per day in February, based on your January #Storystorm ideas!

The aim is to invest some of that “new project” enthusiasm in one image for each idea. Think of it as your visual elevator pitch. It should, hopefully, evoke an emotional response while teasing the story, sort of like that one image you pick for your promo postcards

I found over the years that my usual picture book process of working out the text, then thumbnailing, then dummying, left me with little energy for the art. Putting the . . . er . . . art before the horse is an attempt to capture the spark that got me excited about the idea, RIGHT AWAY. After doing it this way for a couple of years, I also found that trying to get an image down first is a great way to vet which ideas are worth carrying to the next level. [Bonus tip from years of observation: one great image can sell a book! I’ve seen it happen!]

This is an exercise to help you winnow your #Storystorm ideas. It’s just for you. If you feel that posting an image gives too much of your idea away, then don’t! But if you are so inclined, you can post your daily sketch on the platform of your choice, using the #sketchsquall hashtag.

You can see mine here (and scroll down for past #sketchsquall posts), on Instagram (bonnie_adamson) and on Twitter (@BonnieAdamson).

Happy sketching!

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