When Liz, my amazing illustrator and publisher of Fuzzypig Books sent me her first drawing of Dylan, I didn't much like him! But as we worked through the text together, and more and more illustrations fell into my in box, I began to love him.
I had been asked many times "so, how will Dylan look?" Or, "what sort of illustrations do you want?" To which I could only reply, "I'll know it when I've seen it!" I toyed with various ideas in my mind about how best to depict the down to earth, realistic and funny story. I knew which illustrators and styles I admired, but what was best for Dylan?
To me, Dylan's picture was a little bland and nondescript, or even a little frightening with the emotions he was portraying. But I reminded myself that this was our brief. That Dylan needs to be a character that children with ASD can identify with. So he can't have a very specific look or clothing, as a child on the spectrum might be distracted by this. Also, his emotions need to be seen clearly, as anything ambiguous would be hard to interpret.
As I saw Dylan in the different parts of the story, at school, at home in the bath, and having a bed time story with his cat in beautifully drawn scenes, I became reassured, and excited to see him popping up every time.
It's a strange experience having your words set to visual, and it's only been possible because Liz also has a strong interest in children with additional needs and understanding of them. It took me eight years to find her, but she has bought Dylan to life!
Watching my ideas come to life.
Leave a Reply.
Someone Like Me.
A series of beautiful books for children with additional needs to help them deal with stuff that really matters.