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Illustration Challenge: Blog 2

Do you need a hand with illustrating for our Can I Sleep Tomorrow? Illustration Challenge? Wombat Books are here with this week’s blog post to help you out. 

We’ll discuss how to encourage creativity, plan the drawing, and generate final illustrations. This three-step plan simplifies the process for you and your child to follow if you need some help to begin. This post is simply a guide and won’t increase your chances of winning.

If you’re ready to go, feel free to start illustrating. We look forward to seeing the final product in the upcoming months!

Step 1: Read the Text

Within the professional world of picture-book illustration, the first step is to read the book. The same goes for our Illustration Challenge. Don’t let the words overwhelm you - we have written this book so that our young illustrators won’t struggle with creating visuals. One of the main jobs an author has is giving the illustrator more material to better visualise the world created. The book is brought to life and improves with illustrations. 

You will see that we have included many different locations and fun adventures in Can I Sleep Tomorrow (http://www.wombatbooks.com.au/images/illustrationchallenge/CanISleepTomorrow_IllustrationChallenge.pdf ), like the circus and the musical Chloe travels to. Encourage your child to use their imagination like Chloe, and decide on their interpretation of the text and put their vision to paper. Consider what aspects of Australia you can incorporate into the illustration to make Can I Sleep Tomorrow a compilation of familiar places. The words are also there to stimulate your child’s creativity.

Let’s take a look at an example from our previous Illustration Challenge - Around Australia in 30 Places. 

The text reads: ‘There’s something fishy about Fish Creek - and it might have something to do with all the fish around town. There’s a giant mullet on top of the local hotel and fish shaped seats all around.’ 

We can see how Blake has used neutral colours with the drawing, but including a bright red car in to keep the reader visually engaged. We can see the giant mullet mentioned in the story, as well as awesome and funky fish shaped seats out the front of the hotel. Blake has also used their imagination and prior knowledge of motels, and included an ice-machine around the side, as well as some gorgeous plants out the front. There are so many ways that you can turn words into a fun picture - and we hope this example helps.

Step 2: Look at our Illustration Suggestions

We want to make it clear that your child does NOT need to be enrolled in an art class to be able to participate in our Illustration Challenge! The team at Wombat Books believes that the enjoyment of drawing and illustrating is as important, if not more, as technical skill. We want participants to have fun with this challenge, and we encourage originality and uniqueness more than realism. 

If your child asks for help, don’t just say you “can’t draw.” It’s okay if as a parent you cannot draw realistic characters or landscapes. Kids learn from example. Even if you're not confident in your capabilities, you can help out with early sketching. We want our participants to enjoy illustrating Chloe’s adventures, not get held up on whether the visuals are realistic enough.

As you check in with your child’s process, ask questions about what they’ve drawn, like why they have chosen certain colours and what other adventures they have incorporated into the story. By moving past the standard “it’s very pretty,” parents can learn more about the meaning behind their child’s interpretation. If you find that your child is struggling to come up with ideas and can’t decide what to draw, look at our Illustration Suggestions.(http://www.wombatbooks.com.au/images/illustrationchallenge/CanISleepTomorrow_IllustrationChallenge.pdf) for additional inspiration. Wombat Books understands that creativity is temperamental and appears whenever it pleases, and that sometimes we need inspiration to encourage creative action. This is why we have provided written prompts to kick-start the participant’s creative process. These prompts give our aspiring illustrators a chance to look at the text in a way they hadn’t considered before. This could encourage a lightbulb moment that gets them out of their drawer’s block and on the page.

Step 3: Start Illustrating!

Here is where we combine all the steps and start devising a draft illustration. For this part of the process, we suggest using a pencil and rubber for brainstorming illustrations and coming up with a potential storyboard before starting the final submission. 

If your children do not wish to draft their picture first, that’s completely fine! 

If your children are still struggling, we have provided an example of a page spread down below:

If you want more examples, check out our Q&A blog posts with winning illustrators from Around Australia in 30 Places: (http://www.wombatbooks.com.au/index.php/blog/entry/meet-illustration-challenge-winner-ruby )

If you or your child is curious about the process of writing a children’s book and collaborating with authors, click here:


For more information about illustrating picture books, click here: 



For more information about drawing with kids, click here: 


Want to learn more about the competition? Click here

#IllustrationChallenge2020 #HomeEducation #CanISleepTomorrow? 

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