This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Andy the Ant

 For several years now, a character has remained dear to my heart. He was the start of my crazy journey. He inspired me to write. He encouraged my boys to use their manners. He became a name in this house that was as common as Mickey Mouse to others. My book I wrote was laid out in a Photo album. My boys would sit down and study the pictures and read the words. He started out as a crayon drawing utilizing simplistic shapes that children could relate to. His journey was simple and to the point. This character evolved and grew as the years went by. His simple shapes began to grow a bit more complex in colors and character. Andy the Ant began to have little adventures as I created him into a tangible character. Sometimes the words of his story were more complex than the character himself. I think that was my problem. I had created a character who was simple, sweet, kind, and childlike. Unfortunately his story did not follow his character persona. After a few redo's and several hours, days, and months spent with those my ant is modeled after, I began to notice that his wordy adventures needed to become less "wordy" and more illustrated. The audience of Andy react according to their emotions. So does this character. His adventure is emotion driven. It is an emotion identified and verbalized in illustration. We see  joy and regret. The journey he embarks on is is the cause of his wandering nature of enjoying the moment without regard to the task he was given. He loses his way as the ants march away. Andy is lost. Now what should he do?
This is a preschool learning moment that all preschoolers can relate to. They have felt that feeling of "where's my parent".  A story that ran almost 500 words when I first created it, I have now tasked myself with re creating it in less than 150 words.
Andy the Ant is an illustrated driven story using limited text that will hold the attention of the newly emerging reader. The target age is 2-4 years/ preschool. It is a "read to me" story that a preschool teacher and parent will both enjoy reading aloud while allowing a child to create the story by what they see. This will offer visual and auditory learning by how it is used.. I love a great book that a child will take to a reading nook and become lost in its illustrations. It begs the question, "What do you see?" That is where you truly see the story emerge. Their eyes become big and alert at the thought of what could be. It isn't limiting. It is an open adventure full of color and imagination. That is where reading really begins. Later in life, we are able to create our own visual imagination that correlates with text of an engaging story. At this age, it is about illustration that lures them into the interest of the text. In kindergarten, the text and illustration become one. They, together, teach the skill of reading.
Above are a couple pages I have put together. Below is another page sketched out and ready for paint. I am very partial to watercolor and find inspiration in vintage works of A.A. Milne and Beatrix Potter. My colors hold vibrancy as I am very fond of colors and have found my audience to be just as fond of them.
Be sure to follow me on Face book at Children's Book Illustrator, Author, and Blogger- Cassaundra Dunbridge. You can also use the link in the tabs at the top. It will take you right on over to that page. I post on that page regularly with updates and page progressions. I am also on twitter @CDunbridge and pinterest @cassaundragirl.
Always aspiring and creating,

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