Lynne Chapman walks us through the genesis of her book, “Swap”

One of the great things about the internet and blogs is that we get to walk behind the curtain and see the artist at work. Blogs have pulled back the veil on picture book process and creation. It’s a great thing to get to see how our favorite artist’s work their magic and go from concept to final work.


Today we are happy to showcase one author/artist as they describe their journey, Lynne Chapman.

Lynne has been an award winning author/illustrator for over 25 years with more than 30 books to her credit! She resides in the UK and it is evident from her videos that she has a spunky, bright and infectious personality.

She primarily works in pastels and has a number of demonstration videos on her website, blog and YouTube channel.

This series of posts catalogues her process while creating, pitching, illustrating, edting and sending off the final artwork of the book that would end up being titled Swap.

The story is about a little girl, Lucy, and her dog, Sparky. When her alarm goes off, Lucy thinks it’s not fair that she has to get up and go to school, while Sparky stays home. Sparky would much rather go to school, as he thinks staying in is boring, so they take the only reasonable course of action, they swap places for the day! What a simple and fun concept!!!

What a marvelous journey for Lynn to take us along with her on! There are a total of 25 posts from conception to dropping the final artwork in the mail. The time between beginning and end is 23 months, almost 2 years!! Get ready for an education for all you aspiring Author/Illustrators out there! Lynne gives a fairly in depth accounting of the process from beginning to end.

We’ll break Lynne’s journey up into segments. Featuring each post, describing the content and providing links to the original content on Lynne’s blog. We’ll share 5 to 10 of her posts per one of ours.

First is a video of Lynne describing her creative process for conceptualizing a children’s book. She also describes how she got into the field from textile design.


In her first post Lynne discusses the source of inspiration for her story idea and the initial scribbles that were it’s initial manifestation! With the initial title being, “It’s Not Fair”.

 In her second post Lynne describes throwing together her idea for a book and pitching it to her editor while she happens to be in town for a publisher party. Her Editor loves the idea and needs to present it to her colleagues for approval. Lynne’s wait begins.

In her third post Lynne describes waiting to hear “yes” or “no”  from the publisher and the eventual phone call that says, “YES!!”

In her fourth post Lynne shows us her super roughs at the very beginning of her process. In this post she is getting back into working on the book as her schedule is finally allowing. She describes working with the editor and arranging images in a way that suits the story content as well as describing the newer process she has used to write the book.


In her fifth post Lynne walks us further through her roughs as she continues to solidify the layout of her story and the design of her characters. It’s neat seeing that she edits and changes the characters appearance as she progresses. I have always been of the notion that you design the characters first and then design the book. Her method merits a further look and try because I imagine it helps to maintain the energy and excitement while quickening your pace in the initial stages of creation.

We’ll be posting the next few steps on Friday or you can hop over to Lynne’s blog and investigate for yourself!




  1. Lynne Chapman

    Wow! Thank you SO much for this wonderful feature Wilson. I hope people enjoy reading my posts and seeing my new book evolve. I’m certainly having fun creating the work, as well as showing it to all you guys out there in web-land! Hopefully the information about the design process and the publishing business will be of some help to any aspiring picture book illustrators and authors. x

    • WilsonWJr

      Thank you so much Lynne for allowing us to feature your artwork, process, videos and amazing personality! We’re already getting responses from so many people who love your work and style! Hopefully someday we can interview you for our podcast. It would be a pleasure!! Thanks again so much!

  2. Wilson Williams – Once Upon A Sketch | Illustration and Art News for Illustrators and Artists

    […] Link: Wilson Williams – Once Upon A Sketch Pin […]

  3. Wilson Williams – Once Upon A Sketch | Uber Patrol - The Definitive Cool Guide

    […] External Link: Wilson Williams – Once Upon A Sketch […]


Leave a Reply to Wilson Williams – Once Upon A Sketch | Illustration and Art News for Illustrators and Artists Cancel reply