Guest Post-Will Terry-Working With Children’s Book Editors
I’ve been working on one of the funnest books I’ve ever had the privilege to illustrate. “Skeleton For Dinner” by Margery Cuyler is due out this coming fall by Albert Whitman – and is a very cute story about miscommunication among friends. The image above is just a mock up – the real type treatments to come.
My advice when working with editors and art directors:
1) It’s a collaboration. The publisher is paying the bills. They are risking their money to make the dream happen. You and I are risking our time. We all have risk but I often hear about illustrators who feel that art decisions should be their call alone. Many of my books have been greatly enhanced by the discretion, suggestions, and requests of my employers and this cover is no exception. I had to completely re-do this cover because I broke some of my own design rules – I cut corners. I am so much happier with this current version and the input from my editors Nick Tiermersma and Wendy McClure.
2) Get to know your editors with good back and forth communication. Be clear in what your expectations, aspirations, intentions, plans, goals, etc are. Let them know how passionate you are – they want to know. Don’t make it a secret that you’re tickled to work on their project. Don’t hide the fact that you’re trying to do your best work ever. Let them understand that you value their opinion and input. After all you’re a team even though you may be many miles apart geographically. If you’re not a team player…good luck.
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