Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adventures of Clyde the Duck

While hiking in the Grand Canyon something happened that tends to always happen when I'm trudging through some magical wilderness.


When I'm in the outdoors or in a new place I seem to channel buckets and buckets of creativity. I also seem to always come back to this one fabulous idea I have about turning Clyde's real adventures into picture books.

As I browsed through a few gift shops in search of another backpack patch, I discovered this fantastic book.

The illustrations are just adorable and the story is darling. 
After reading this out loud I set it back on the shelf thinking, "That was an awesome book; I wish I had written it."Later I crossed the book again in another gift shop (it's really hard to find a good backpack patch). I read it again and had to buy it because I loved it just as much, if not MORE, on the second time around. That means it's a good picture book. 

I noticed that this book was written and illustrated by the same woman, and the humor of the illustrations reminded me of the humor in the little critter books by Mercer Mayer (like the Just Camping Out one I wrote about a few posts back). I realized that author/illustrators can do so much more than an author who must then rely on an illustrator to make the story happen. 

And this is when I realize that to be completely satisfied with my Adventures of Clyde the Duck books I need to learn how to illustrate. 

For someone who has never taken an art class in her life, this might seem like a bit of a scary, and daunting challenge. But, I was in the wilderness when the idea of illustrating my own books struck me, so of course I felt like I could do anything. 

Maintaining that powerful creative compulsion is very hard to do upon returning to the city where the real world takes over. But, in order to at least TRY to keep my dream alive I spent nearly an hour in a craft store looking at various colored pencils, water color and acrylic paints, brushes, paper, books on drawing/painting. And today I checked out 33 books from my library. Some are how-to books on drawing, most are picture books. I have to find out how to plot a picture book, how to pace it, how to use characterization, how to use illustrations to make the story and words to help it flow just right. 

One day, maybe you'll be at the Grand Canyon watch tower gift shop and you'll see my book on the shelf. The Adventures of Clyde the Duck: Grand Canyon. Written and illustrated by yours truly. 
For now, here's a picture of my real-life travel ducky himself. 

Write on!

1 comment:

  1. I've totally thought of the same thing :) Wouldn't it be fun? No reason not to try and see what we can come up with :)