How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator

Mark Mitchell's blog on children's book illustration, artists and art instruction

Children’s Books’

Picture books on the library conference floor

Art by Don Tate for "The Amazing Times of John Roy Lynch"

The hilarious picture book The Day The Crayons Quit, (Philomel) by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (mostly, he says, with his left hand) trounced the competition for this year’s Texas Bluebonnet Award.  (The image on the left is by illustrator Don Tate for another book, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton that you’ll see more about… Read More

Terrible in pink?

T is for Terrible

  A Terrible Lizard’s soliloquy moves us to empathy, or maybe not in the gorgeously tactile T is for Terrible (Macmillan)– a 2005 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year by Peter McCarty. Children’s novelist Julie Lake (Galveston’s Summer of the Storm) walks us through the Paleozoic pastel pages, while I handle the not-so-steadicam. We recorded after hours in  Julie’s primary school library that… Read More

“Speak the language.” Children’s book illustrator E.B. Lewis shares his emotional work and words

Watercolor art by E.B. Lewis

“Art is a language,” Children’s book illustrator E.B. Lewis told a roomful of illustrators, aspiring and professional. “Speak the language.” What is a language, Lewis asked. “In spoken language, it’s the letters of the alphabet that join together to form words, then paragraphs. And finally stories and jokes,” he answered his own question. The mark of… Read More

Catching Willie Mays (in a children’s book illustration)

Terry Widener

How perfect that award-winning children’s book artist Terry Widener has done the pictures for the new picture book by Jonah Winter (just released by Schwartz and Wade) about the greatest all around baseball player ever — Willie Mays. Terry brings a background of high level advertising and editorial illustration and something else to the many… Read More

Maurice Sendak — “A whole other story that you think is there.”

In this interview clip Maurice Sendak speaks as eloquently as you’ll hear on the roles of the children’s book illustrator and children’s book  illustration. It’s from the DVD  “There’s a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak: A Retrospective in Words and Pictures” produced by the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia. According to the press copy, … Read More