I shared this sketch in my #Storystorm post–revised only a little for today’s #sketchsquall, but it’s a significant change [hello, Mr. Wolf!] and I’ve been working on words!
So . . . the #Storystorm idea was just a quick sketch of an owl perched on a robot’s head. It seemed they should be in a forest. That’s all there is.
This #Storystorm idea started with an image, but no story. The sketch today is an attempt to begin working out a story.
This was fun, trying to break down the anatomy of an unfamiliar creature. Will need to do a good bit more to simplify for a picture book, and to figure out how to manage a range of emotions with nothing but eye-stalks to work with . . .
This is based on a picture book bio idea. Started with some very cursory research online and have already found a hook–MUST NOT GET TOO EXCITED. Lots of work ahead.
Every sketch I came up with today, I’d seen better somewhere else. So this #Storystorm idea might not work–but here’s a puppy.
This #Storystorm idea has come together quickly. Looking forward to developing this one further.
So . . . I honestly didn’t know where this was going. I believe it needs to be done in cut paper–so the task is just to come up with simplified shapes at this point.
Here we go! I had already sketched out a defining image for this #Storystorm idea, so this is me backtracking and working out an earlier scene in the story:
Another fabulous #Storystorm is coming to a close. Last year, in an effort to get a fresh perspective, I decided to take my stash of 30 ideas and create a sketch every day in February, one for each Storystorm nugget (inspired by a #kidlitart sketch-a-day challenge going on at the same time).
I was looking for a quick way to vet some of the ideas, and also shake up my development process. A Famous Illustrator whose workshop I attended at an SCBWI LA conference said that he considered his projects to be wordless stories until the images were in place, THEN he wrote the text. That struck me as a great plan–I had been doing the opposite, figuring I had to have the story written and polished before embarking on the art . . . only to find that my enthusiasm had sometimes left me by the time it came to creating the art.
I think the 2019 experiment was successful–some of the ideas never made the leap from thought to image. Some landed neatly (TOO neatly?), and some took massive coaxing to find a foothold on the other side (scroll down to see the day-by-day efforts). Overall, around seven seemed to me to be worth pursuing.
I wrote about the experience in a post for Tara Lazar’s 2020 Storystorm challenge, and several fellow Storystormers expressed an interest in trying the same thing–Sue Macartney came up with the awesome hashtag: #sketchsquall. So, here we go! I’ll be posting my images here, and on Twitter (@BonnieAdamson) and Instagram (bonnie_adamson). Feel free to follow along–or, better yet, join us! You don’t need to have participated in #Storystorm–we all have snippets of ideas scribbled on post-its or frantically typed into phone apps in the middle of the night. Use what you have! Several non-illustrators have said they’ll be trying the image-before-words process, too. If you’re shy about sharing your work (I don’t encourage anyone to reveal images that might give away the particulars of a unique idea)–you can simply post insights and progress by adding the hashtag.
See you February 1!
In the meantime, here is a squirrel.