“To me, ideas are a dime a dozen. Ideas come and go. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is actually birthing your idea into the world….is realizing the vision. We have these visions so often and our job as artists is to realize that vision, to communicate that vision. And we have people along the way who help us—we have editors and art directors who help us—but their job is as midwives for the birthing process. Their job is to let us know if our idea is coming across, if our vision is coming across. And if it’s not, then we’ve got more work to do. And then the work is over the next, you know…even years…of realizing that vision and communicating that vision to somebody else in such a way that they get it in that same soulful way that you got it. And that’s the work. That’s the work of the artist, to me. That part is hard.”
“The success of a picture book is the totality of it, and whether it really works at the end.”
Here's some daily writing inspiration from "authorstrator" Mark Pett, in conversation with Shawna JC Tenney on the Stories Unbound podcast. Mark has been a syndicated comics creator and is the author of several picture books, including the forthcoming third-wall breaking story, This Is My Book (to be published in the fall of 2016)--about a frustrated author and an interfering panda who gradually takes over the story.
“There’s a lot of value in extracting a story and making connections. We don’t want to spoon feed stories to our kids. I think some of us make the mistake of thinking what makes a good book is a book that spoon feeds the moral to our kids. It’s one of our challenges as artists, to find that sweet spot. We want our readers to do work. That’s fun for readers [.…] A reader loves a little mystery where they have to make a connection, or something. We have to find that sweet spot between letting the reader do some work—enough work that it’s fun and interesting, and even a little exciting and titillating—but not too much work.”