I’ve always wanted to write and illustrate my own book ever since I was little, so I thought it was about time I brought that idea to life. A lot of my inspiration has come from Beatrix Potter’s beautiful watercolours and Quentin Blake’s wonderfully sketchy drawings; I tried to take little specks of their styles, and blend them with some of my own.
First of all, I needed to write a story; I spent a train journey to Lancaster jotting down the plot to the story on my phone, the tale was based on a real house with chickens and one of them was actually named Porridge. At home, I hand wrote pages of the story on A5 sheets of paper- I drew faint lines with a ruler so that my writing was a little straighter.
Then, I spent a few evenings creating watercolour illustrations for each page of writing.
I enjoyed illustrating each page of writing, I felt that it brought the story to life more. One of my favourite illustrations would be the one where the chickens are being chased by the dog, I wanted to really show how scared the chickens were as they were being chased around the garden! Each painting took from around half an hour, to an hour to complete. I sketched the drawings out first and then added watercolour to them later on.
Once I had finished the paintings, I took them into work, scanned them and edited them (I had some help from the wonderful James with the editing). I then created a PDF of my story in the order I wanted it to be in. I used an online printing company to turn my PDF into an actual little A5 landscape booklet; they sent me a selection of paper samples so that I could choose which ones I wanted to use for the pages of my book. After a few days of deciding, I had finally chosen to go with a glossy front cover and matt inside pages. I was then ready to order my books!
It was an exciting moment when my books arrived, It was so lovely seeing lots of copies of my book piled up in a cardboard box. Even though my story hadn’t been officially published, it’s the closest I’ve been to it… so far! I loved siting at the table, flicking through the fresh, glossy pages, whilst sipping on a rooibos tea.
I enjoyed the whole process of making my little children’s’ book and I can’t wait to create another one.
A good friend of mine, Karis Lambert, has created a comic book recently and it’s filled with lots of fantastic illustrations:
Have a little look at some more of her artwork here: https://www.facebook.com/KarisViola/