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Thread: The Author/Illustrator Relationship

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Red face The Author/Illustrator Relationship

    Hi all,

    I just wrote about the relationship between the author and the illustrator on my blog, Mayra's Secret Bookcase.

    If you're interested in the topic, feel free to drop by.



  2. #2
    Look into my eyes stace001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Queensland, Australia
    Thanks for that, Mayra! It was really interesting. It's good to know some publishers are willing to accept an illustrator based on the author's recommendation.
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  3. #3
    Slave to the Wordcount WildScribe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Interesting. I was under the impression that the author and illustrator essentially never make contact.
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  4. #4
    Neural Trailblazer Hillary's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Cape Cod
    My mom and her illustrators (chosen by her publishers) do events together, signings, receiving awards, and even some negotiations with agents and publishers.

    And I'm not totally convinced it's such a bad thing for an illustrator to be chosen without the author's input or approval or anything.

    I've noticed that authors seem stuck on getting "their" vision of the story captured. The thing is, then you're just sort of rehashing your own thoughts. Booooring. I've seen MUCH more amazing results (seriously, taking a book from "good" to "best seller") if the illustrator has their own ideas. Usually, if it's a big, successful publisher, they will do a great job pairing illustrators and authors. The writer and illustrator will share common ideas, but will take things in markedly different directions.

    If your illustrator just sees what you see, you don't add any dimension to your story; you're just adding another flat layer. Sure, it can go awry, but most of the time, I think authors need to get over themselves and realize it's better to have a new voice telling the story rather than just an echo.
    Last edited by Hillary; 05-18-2008 at 04:45 PM. Reason: (((I can't spell, it's an affliction.)))
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  5. #5
    SO many books!! Mr.H.'s Avatar
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    May 2008
    Cold, Minnesota
    I agree. I have no more interest in an illustrator helping me with word choice, than an illustrator would have with my opinions on color choice.

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  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I agree with the last couple of posts. I'd never interfere with an illustrator's creative process, unless they asked me for my ideas or opinions. It is the same way that I ask for critique of my work. A new pair of eyes/ears is always welcome when I'm writing.

  7. #7
    Impractical Fantasy Animal sunandshadow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.H. View Post
    I agree. I have no more interest in an illustrator helping me with word choice, than an illustrator would have with my opinions on color choice.
    Interesting how different this is from the world of manga, where the artist may ask for changes to the text or outright rearrange the author's suggested paneling/stage directions and the author may ask for changes to the art or outright veto certain character designs or panels.


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