I lead a writing club at my son's school, and we had an author/illustrator visit yesterday with David Slonim. The kids were squirrelly with excitement. We heard great information and watched David draw a character from ideas suggested by the students. My son was able to come and get his books autographed. It was an excellent experience.
It was enlightening for me to hear how he came up with the idea for the book He Came with the Couch as well as how things work when he illustrates for another writer. I wrote a picture book a few months ago for an assignment and my mentor said I included too much in the text about how the characters looked - that those things could be taken care of in the illustrations. Now, I like to sketch and paint here and there but I have no delusions of artistic grandeur. I will not illustrate my own story. But I learned today that the illustrator gets to create the characters on his/her own based only on the story text provided. This gives me a lot to think about as I edit and revise and tweak this story I have drafted based on a particular child near and dear to my heart.
You can find out more about David here. His site has great information, coloring pages and other cool things. And I will be posting more about his visit at my other blog on Friday. Here are a couple pictures from his visit (some faces have been blurred for privacy).