Elizabeth Rose Stanton Shares True Confessions of a Picture Book Illustrator, Part 2

Apr 21, 2018 | Illustration

My guest blog post from last year revealed my True Confessions of a Picture Book Illustrator, so I thought I’d pick it up where I left off since, I must confess, I have more…and they’re true!

True Confession #5
I’m a chiseler.

For me, when it comes to making picture books, it’s every bit about the ART of writing as it is the ART of illustrating. I liken it to sculpting: I start with a big block of words, then begin chiseling away at them. If I whack away carefully, and long enough, the story takes shape!

It’s also a great way to deal with writer’s block (pun intended).

Writer's Block

True Confession #6a
I have a paint problem.

It’s a bit sobering to realize my supply of watercolors will probably outlive me.


True Confession #6b
I also have a colored pencil problem.

And I confess have even more that are in boxed sets, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

pencil problem

True Confession #6c
AND I have a sketchbook problem:
I realized recently just how many sketchbooks I have going at the same time, and they’re all different. I don’t think this means much of anything, but I sure know about different kinds of sketchbooks. Don’t get me started on watercolor paper!

Stanton sketchbook

True Confession #7
I have terrible illustrator-envy.

My list is vast and includes, and is by no means limited to, the likes of Sophie Blackall, Lisbeth Zwerger, Barbara McClintock, and Helen Oxenbury, and historically (and unabashedly): Beatrix Potter, Esther Averill, Jesse Wilcox Smith and John R Neil. At every turn, I discover someone else whose work I am drawn to and inspired by.

Lisbeth Zwerger, The Bremen Town Musicians

And this of course feeds into my compulsion to study said envied-ones, and this leads me to riffdoodling (True Confession #4), which is a great way to work on your skills as an illustrator.

Thank you to our faculty for this Guest Post!

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