By Sarah Lynne Reul
Recently, my book PET THE PETS (my third book … and very first novelty/lift –the-flap book) was released into the world!
The concept began as sketches for a digital painting class that I took while completing my MFA degree in 2D Animation a few years ago. I wanted to create a series of 2-page flipbooks that could be united by similar characters and limited color palettes.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster/Little Simon editor Jeffrey Salane, art director Laura Roode and my agent Emily Mitchell, it’s now a sturdy little lift-the-flap novelty book that invites readers to help out sad animals through petting, giving food or offering encouragement.
I find that this concept also applies to my process of making the books themselves.
Sometimes, on rare, magical days, everything seems to falls into place: great, sweeping changes can be easily made by taking giant, seven-league steps of progress.
But mostly, I find, my work progresses in tiny baby steps, a series of small decisions, chosen one at a time, like when my optometrist flips through different lens options: Which one is better – one, or two? A or B? This one, or that one? There’s no need to labor over every decision; each small choice adds up to an overall pattern that gets you where you need to go.
The choices that you make when creating a book, including what colors you use. . .
. . .who the characters should be . . .
. . . how each character’s features & expressions should look . . .
. . .what should be on the cover. . .
. . .each element evolves from a series of small decisions that ultimately defines what your book will be.
What small things do you do to help make things better in your own process of writing & illustrating?
Sarah Lynne Reul is an illustrator, writer and award-winning 2D animator who likes science, bright colors and figuring out how things work. Learn more at reuler.com.