Axel Scheffler: Top 3 tips for budding illustrators

In a picture book, illustrations are just as important as words to bring a story to life. In this video Axel Scheffler, illustrator of the well-loved Gruffalo books, gives his top tips for budding artists.

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Axel Scheffler

First of all, we have to think what illustrators actually do. When they illustrate text, they illustrate stories. So first I have a story and when I get a story, written for instance by Julia Donaldson, I have to think what the main characters look like. So I have to develop the characters. In this case it was Gruffalo and then we have to think about what could be on the picture.

So if it's a book, you have to think, you have to make some sketches. What could be on the various pages. Here you can see me working on the Gruffalo. Tip number two would be to look at lots of work of other illustrators. Let's look at lots of picture books and drawings that other people have done. So it's good to be very curious and then look at lots of things.

And then I think number three is really to draw a lot and try out a lot of different things. Try out lots of different materials. Look again at different styles that illustrators have used. So you can have paints, you can have water colors, you can have gouache colors, you can have color pencils, and there are lots of different ways of producing pictures, making pictures. And I think one should just try out. One should experiment a lot to be come an illustrator. Okay. Those are my three tips. I hope there were three. I think I said one, two, three.

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