I have always admired full-page children's book illustrations where the illustrator is able to cleverly incorporate the white of the page into the picture. I feel like sometimes I tend to over-illustrate, filling every square inch of the page with color and line so, recently, while I was working up ideas for the Prairie Writer's and Illustrator's Day illustration prompt, I challenged myself to try and incorporate more white space into my illustration. This challenge started with a trip to my local library to find some examples of the look I was trying to achieve. I found three beautiful books that creatively activate the white of the page, here are some examples of the pages I was looking at:
My challenge was to create an illustration based off of the prompt "Competition was fierce but Rowan was Ready." After playing around with different competitions and sports that Rowan could be participating in, I decided that I wanted to draw her at the beginning of a go-cart race. As a kid, I loved to craft and often took over our unfinished basement with gargantuan box forts and other cardboard creations. I thought it could be fun to have the competition that Rowan was in to be in her imagination instead of literal. Designing the carts out of boxes and having the "competition" as her toys is hopefully a fresh take on the prompt and a relatable experience for any creative kid who's ever been told to go play on their own.
I used the white of the page to represent the floor and create a nice place to stage the prompt text. Having the floor so light also let me really pull back on the intensity of the color and contrast of the background living room elements and keep the viewer's focus on the race.
I haven't been posting much in the past 18 months. This silence is not due to me throwing in the towel on my goal to become a children's book writer and illustrator. In fact, quite the opposite is true. This update is a little peek behind the curtain of what I've been up to and where I'm headed.