How to write and illustrate a children's picture book in three weeks using mostly an IPad
I have been doing a lot of thinking about limitations and what I can and can't do now that my hip dislocations are keeping me in bed for longer and longer times (thank you Ehlers Danlos). I love illustrating and have written and drawn two children's books but much of that had to be done at my computer which requires sitting up. After this little sketch of a teacup puppy got some attention and some of my loyal reader's attention and questions if the puppy was going to be a new book that could join Snuggle Bunny. How could I resist? Since I wasn't going anywhere I thought I would try some things
- Concept art. Since my wrists are popping out I started my sketching in Autodesk Sketchbook. I use this because it has a mirroring aspect so I only have to draw half the picture. I would be overjoyed to only use Autodesk but their smudge tool and palette leave much to be desired.
I continue the drawing in Procreate. No mirror, some ok workarounds, but the pallets are as amazing as the drawing tools. Seriously if you buy no other art app for your Ipad buy this one, you can trust me I have spent a small fortune on art apps this is the best all-around art app for IPad Pro.
- After the illustration is mostly complete in Procreate I bring it over into the Adobe apps. If you have a student ID USE it. I pay so much for the entire Adobe suite. I bring the illustration to Adobe Sketch. Yes. three art apps. The reason is Adobe Sketch arm and arm with Adobe CC app open up an entire world for you. You can create your own color brushes out of ANYTHING!!!! Illuminated manuscripts here I come!
- After all the pretty brushes are applied the illustration goes back into apps like PicsArt, Brushstroke, Enlight, and Stackable. Repeat for I think 15 illustrations.
- Writing the book turned out to be easy and so much fun! I start in an app called Notes Plus because I still like handwriting anything creative and this app lets me handwrite, press a button, and TADA it is turned into type.
- Then I can send it over to either Apple Pages or Scrivner to see if I have enough material for the magic and standard 32 pages.
- All of the above can be finished in 5 to 7 days depending on how much alone time I have it's the layout that took two weeks. This all took place in Adobe Comp. This is where I do the planning and spacing. It is also where I create frames for images and make the book covers.
- Once most of this is set I return to Adobe CC and hit pattern and use an image of the book to make a pattern for the opening pages. I sometimes will head over to WordSwag app to finish up any fancy typography needed.
- This is where I start removing hair. Adobe Comp requires each and EVERY page to separately be exported. Yup, all 32 times. Since I have set the pages to Createspace's specs I will usually send them over to Photoshop but you can just as easily send them to a Google Drive folder.
- This is where my sad little carcass must leave the bed since the rest needs to be done on the computer using InDesign. A bit of a learning curve but thanks to some great tutorials on YouTube I learned. I set up my 32 pages and basically drag and drop my files in. Here is my HARD learned lesson DO NOT TYPE UNTIL YOU ARE IN INDESIGN. You can do layout in the apps but you really need to do all the finished typing in InDesign. Any changes you make you can adjust and not have to REDO THE ENTIRE PAGE. (Can you tell I had to redo an entire book because of this?)
- After all this which thanks to hips and shoulders had to be done in spurts but was eventually uploaded to CreateSpace and is ready to be bought!
Absolutely a shameless plug but I hope you enjoyed and are inspired to make something special yourself. Being stuck in bed can make you feel a bit invisible but thanks to the new technology those of us lucky enough can create some amazing things.