Illustrating a Children’s Story, Part 5

I recently wrote another post about Starting Over. Well, there was a reason that subject was on my mind.

It’s been awhile since my last Three Little Pigs post, and there’s a simple reason: I didn’t like it. Something irked me about the project and I lost all excitement for it. So I was left with a choice – I could completely abandon it or finish it. I’ve already made so many posts about the project that I feel an obligation to see it through, so that is what I’m going to do. (That was, after all, one of the reasons I put my process out in the public eye – so in that way, at least, I was successful. Hurray for me.)

Going forward, I could either take the sketches I already had and finish it, or do some major revisions. The first choice would be easier, but I’d be miserable doing it. The second choice would take more work, and would probably also make me miserable for awhile, but I’d like the product better in the end.

I almost went for the first choice. I was really really close. And you readers out there probably would have never known any different. But I didn’t.


So for the past few weeks, I’ve had the Three Little Pigs stewing in the back of my mind, trying to figure out where it all went wrong. Here’s a few thoughts that came to mind:

  • The story didn’t flow.

  • The characters weren’t expressive enough, and the fun I had while making the character designs was not showing through.

  • It was becoming too much work, and I feared I would never get it done.

So, I made some changes:

  • I made new sketches and rearranged the story. I went back to the beginning, made new thumbnails, rearranged some things, and tried to work things out. I was prepared to replace every single sketch if need be. It was a scary thought, but I would have. Ultimately, I was able to recycle a few sketches.

  • I lengthened the format of the book. The eight pages I had planned just wasn’t long enough to get a good story across.

  • I decided not to create full-color paintings. More pages means more work, and that was exactly what I was trying to avoid. If I stress myself out too much for a simple promo, it simply won’t get done. My illustrations are now just sketches, refined and cleaned up just a little. I was originally going to keep them black and white, but later decided to add a little simple color, just to give a little more pop but still keeping things nice and easy.

  • I added text. This really should have been there from the beginning.

Now, the downside of putting my project in the public’s eye is having to deal with the embarrassment of radically changing the layout after so many people have been following its progress. I hope the changes were for the better, and I generally feel good about them. You are welcome to leave any comments, positive or negative, about my decisions.

New Sketches

(click for a closer look)

What’s Left?

I still have to make a cover, and perhaps a title page. The cover will probably be a full color illustration. The text was put on really quickly as a placeholder, so parts of that might be redone/rewritten. I should be able to print and send these out soon. Leave your comments if you have any!