Every children's book needs illustrations. They help children understand the story that is being read, they foster spatial understanding and aesthetic imagining and invite the children to show things, re-tell the story and dream. The amount of illustrations that a book contains depends largely upon the age group that will enjoy it. From board books to picture books, to novels, the number of Illustrations, decreases as the child's age. Authors tend to have very clear ideas of how they would like their stories to look, but most of the times cannot draw as well as they can write - and that is when artists come to the rescue. They are given the completed text together with a briefing of information about the art style desired, the amount of illustrations that are needed, the printing format and then the creative juices can start flowing. For Arved's illustrations, Debby used a laborious method with enchanting results. This is how she describes her process:
Come up with an idea.
Gather reference images: animals, trees etc.
Sketch out a drawing - in pencil or on the computer Using a light table - trace a cleaner version of the drawing Using ink + pen nibs do the final line art.
On a separate piece of watercolour paper - trace the drawing.
Paint the colour that will be layered under the inks using the computer.
Scan both colour and inks into the computer. Using software, combine layers and make any adjustments.
I still remember clearly, that day on a parkbench at the Weißensee, when I asked Debby if she would like to illustrate my book. I excitedly explained the story and showed her my holiday photos. At that time I had no idea of how drawn-out this process could be :-) And even when you have a completed story and all the illustrations, you don't have a book yet...