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!

#sketchsquall thoughts

It’s March 1! The February challenge to come up with one sketch a day, based on January’s #Storystorm ideas, is done. I will miss having the day’s sketch to think about, but, truthfully, at some point, it becomes an exercise in getting the sketch finished and posted, rather than exploring the viability of the picture book idea. Not that FINISHING something (even if it’s merely “finishing” a sketch to the point where it reads coherently) is a bad thing!

This year’s #Storystorm ideas were a sad and meager bunch. Maybe the slow grind of the pandemic is to blame. I don’t know. For the most part, the sketches were more successful than the ideas–meaning, I think I can develop some portfolio pieces from them, even if the picture book projects never materialize. So that’s good.

Thank you for those who “liked” the sketches on IG and Twitter. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with IG friends after a year off. 🙂 Special thanks to Sue Macartney, who hung in there with me for the whole month and came up with some REALLY cute and clever ideas that I hope we’ll see more of. And, as always, thanks to Tara Lazar, whose fabulous #Storystorm challenge is still the best way to kick off your creative year.

Till next time, here’s a chicken who did not make the cut for Day 6, and is apparently still upset about it.