Thursday, March 28, 2013

Illustration Inspiration #2: How I Became Pirate

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and Illustrated by David Shannon is currently one of my favorite picture books. The story is written so believably from the first-person perspective of young Jeremy Jacob, it's almost as if my own first-grader could have told it. 

Writing a story and illustrating it from the child's perspective creates a welcome challenge as an adult, but when successful, makes the story relate-able for our audience (no boring books here!). Ask yourself: how does a child see the world? This is something I aim to do with my projects as I continue my own journey and has also caused me to develop a greater bond with my kids as I step back and consider their perspectives in seemingly simple matters of daily life.

When I read this book to my children, I find myself acting out different accents and voices for the characters, particularly Captain Braid Beard. That the book is so fun to read makes it more enjoyable for my little audience as well. 

As an artist, I greatly admire David Shannon's work. Admitedly, it was his beautiful, brightly colored illustrations that drew me to the book and ultimately to buy it. His paintings inspire me to hone my craft so that perhaps one day, I too will draw readers through illustrations to my own stories.

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