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So as I keep mentioning my deadline is looming and I have eventually worked out two possible outcomes which I was aiming for, for this part off the course and I will develop one of the stories on the next stage of my course. My original aims for this project were:

  1. Create sketches of the woods and squirrels
  2. Take photos of the woods
  3. Create more blogs showing the development
  4. Create two to three final stories that will be developed next term
  5. Analyse previous successful published children’s books

The problem with life sometimes is what you plan doesn’t always well… go to plan. I have achieved many things in this short time such as completing a dissertation, starting the development process of my children’s picture book and I am excited for what is coming in the next term.

The dissertation took a large amount of time that I wasn’t really expecting but it did help me a lot in understanding my area of interest regarding the educational value books can have and how children’s books help children to develop their own interests and life skills. Also it helped me to focus what I wanted to create, not just a picture book but one that combined educational information within the narration which also includes fictional aspects. Due to the time restriction that the dissertation caused even though I stuck to my schedule, I didn’t create as much material as I had hoped for but I think I will have more research when I start to develop the book next semester. I found it is harder to think of a story than I originally anticipated and can see now why other illustrators and authors can take years to develop a story (which I didn’t understand previously) as there are so many out there but it is choosing which one is the hardest part.

Analysing picture books – I completed this whilst working on my dissertation and it helped me when analysing three contemporary picture books in my essay. By looking at other successful books old and new, I was able to see how many different ways stories can be illustrated and laid out. From this I was able to set a rough criteria of what I wanted to include which I would follow when I am starting to create a storyboard.

Taking photos of the woods –  I still haven’t decided fully what season it is set in and even though I will take photos now, it may look completely wrong if I decided to set it in summer as the course will be finished by the time we reach that season. However, I have many photos in my albums that have been taken in the summer and so I will be able to use this as a reference. Also due to the recent snow it has been harder to access the woods due to the roads and climbing slippery trees is out of the question.

Creating more blogs –  I felt more pressure to think of something amazing for my story due to the restricted time. However, this will definitely change for next term as my full attention will be on this project and there will be a lot more development in my work.

Creating two to three stories –  I technically created many stories but it’s choosing which one is the hard part. I wanted to have a potential story in front of me that excites me and makes me want to start developing it now. This has been hard as I have either been side tracked with other jobs or I have focused too hard on this perfect story and haven’t allowed myself to sift out the bad ideas which eventually allow the good ones to shine. However, after many brick walls so to speak, I feel that I have created two strong stories that have a lot of potential in them and will allow me to explore my imagination whilst keeping it grounded with educational information.

Creating Sketches and photos of the woods and squirrels – By the time I decided to choose the woods as the background and the squirrel as the protagonist it was Christmas and because my Grandma passed away unexpectedly I haven’t created as many sketches.

However, now I know my story, character and background I will be able to start generating ideas, sketches, character development and start to dive into the project next semester.

In this semester I wasn’t able to start contacting outside sources such as publishers etc, as they wouldn’t have taken notice of me if I went to them now with a very rough idea but nothing to show. This is why I am waiting until I have cemented the core of my idea and have generated some work for me to show them, which would hopefully interest them or at least make myself known for future work. Also, to test my concept I will hopefully be able to share my book with my target audience. There is no point doing this now with children aged five, as I will not be able to hold their attention unless I had something to show and I want to see how they engage with the image as well as the story.

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