Wade 1Kristin WadeBritish LiteratureMs. Tillery18 April, 2012 Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book B. F. Skinner once said “We should not teach great books; we should teach a love ofreading,” and over the years I have learned that a love of reading all begins with the right storyand an imagination. Hello, my name is Kristin Wade and I chose to write and illustrate achildren’s book. My product is a published book that I have written and illustrated that was based entirelyon a family story. Just the prospect of making this book excited me. I had always heard that astudent should start to think about what they want to do for their Senior Project at least one yearbefore senior year. I took this information and pondered it with enthusiasm, but no matter what Ithought of I knew that all of my ideas wouldn’t work. It wasn’t until the end of sophomore yearthat I finally got an idea for what I should do. We had gone to my grandparents’ house and mygrandfather told my younger brother and I the story of his dog, Flip, and how the dog chased asquirrel through the house on several occasions. This story had inspired me. I love to write, butmore than anything I love to draw and I knew that I could take this story and turn it into a book. Ichose this project because I was not only inspired by my grandfather telling the story, but Iwanted to see how far I could push my ability to make a story and illustrations flow seamlesslytogether. And so, I began the long and meticulous process of creating a children’s book. I first had to ask my grandfather to tell me the story again so that I would have the detailsand I would not have to do any of the writing with only some of the original details from
Wade 2memory. Once I had my grandfather’s story written down in notes I decided to go throughpicture after picture to try and find what the dog had looked like and where the story took place.Finding pictures became a problem because there were so many of them, but very few of theones that I needed. I was eventually able to find the pictures that I needed and was finally able tomove on to the next step of my project which was story boarding. This was one of the mostchallenging steps for me because I am terrible at starting projects. Well, once I finally got startedI began with the illustrations. I had an idea of what I wanted to happen so I thought that havingthe illustrations would help me to think of the words to go along with each page. It did not turnout to be that easy. Weeks actually went by and I still did not have the text and I did not like theorder of my illustrations. Then, as I was driving home I had an epiphany. I finally knew where tobegin and from there everything else fell into place. I loved the way the story went, but thecharacters went through at least three different changes before I was happy with how theylooked. So, I had my story, but while story boarding I only made rough sketches of each page. Ineeded to make final sketches. This took some time because I had to use rulers, protractors,compasses, and the like so that I could make each picture as straight and accurate as possible.This did not take as long as the story boarding of course. After I had my final sketches I realizedthat I would have to find a way to darken them so that they would show up on my computerscreen once I scanned them. I had to get a special pen that would write easily and had fine tip sothat I could get every detail of the sketch transferred onto my computer. Once each sketch wasinked I had some help scanning and cropping each image to fit the screen the way that I needed itto. Then came the most agonizing process of my entire project, coloring each image with mytablet. Now, I had never used a tablet before and was unsure as to how it even worked. Luckily Ihad a friend that was willing to lend me their tablet so that I could understand how it work and if
Wade 3I would be able to use it as I tried to put my book into its final stages of creation. As it turned outI loved how the device worked and decided to get myself a tablet. Unfortunately, the programthat I used did not have a color memory; which meant that I could not use a color, rethink it andchoose another color, and then change my mind and go back to the original color. Also, therewas no function that would show you your progress on the picture while you were zoomed in onone portion of the picture. I got past this obstacle with some thought and a lot of experimenting. Ihad all of my illustrations completely drawn, inked, and colored; and thus began the final stageof my project, publishing. For me to publish my book I had to sign up with a site calledblurb.com. After that I was able to use one of their online formatting programs to but togethermy book the way I wanted it. This was the easiest part of the entire process, but I still hadproblems with it. For instance, I had chosen the wrong size and cover options and was unable togo back and fix it, so I had to start over. But, I finally finished it and sent the book to thepublisher. As for my research topic, I wrote about the history of Scholastic Inc. This relates to mytopic solely on the basis of publishing. I learned that there are a lot of factors to running apublishing company and many problems as well, but with perseverance anything can beaccomplished. I learned a lot from this project and not just about how to use new programs or differenttools, but also about myself. The first thing that I learned was I am an extreme procrastinator.Also, like I stated before, I have a hard time starting anything. These were the most prominentattributes that I learned about myself, but I also learned that I have determination and a will tonot give up once I have started something and if I am passionate about it, like I am with thisproject, I will not stop until it is done. I also learned that with a task like this you have to have
Wade 4patience, I knew that I had some patience but this project pushed it to the limit. As a career Iwould not choose to pursue this profession. It would be great as a hobby, but it is too taxing andcan be stressful at times. Instead I would like to pursue a career in a field that involves workingwith animals. All in all, I had a great time working on my project and I learned a lot about the processof making a story into a published work and I learned a lot about myself. So, when you go hometonight, maybe you will remember an old story that you enjoyed and, who knows, you could justmake a fun project out of it. Thank you for your time.