"The Book Dummy" is a RISD continuing education class where students prepare a rough mock-up for a picture book, known in the trade as a "book dummy." They spend 12 weeks creating words and images that work together to tell stories. In order to do this, students:
Last Tuesday, we celebrated a semester of hard work with food, music, and readings, and guests. Each student read their book, which they had created and honed during the previous 12 weeks.
The process begins with the words. Texts are read, reviewed, edited and refined. This process continues throughout the entire class. Each word counts!
Storyboarding is a huge part of the process, with much work to be done on pacing, design, and text integration.
- write and hone the text (some folks bring in texts written by other authors)
- learn how to design the page and integrate text through a storyboard
- do character development, color planning, more detailed sketches, and one finished illustration
- compile their sketches and finished art into a book form
They do full size sketches for one completed finish, and color studies. Marketing skills are covered as well.
Next, students spend time developing their characters.
Roya and her husband worked together on a traditional Asian folktale, "The Dragon's Daughter." Roya did almost all of the finished art, well beyond the requirements of the class. This piece, which she had completed before the class began, has already won several awards, including the Los Angeles Society of Illustrator's Gold Award.
Manette's book was based on a song by Cheryl Wheeler, a singer-songwriter of contemporary folk music who has recorded over 13 albums and tours extensively. We had quite the treat when Cheryl brought her ukulele and sang her song, "My Inflatable Plane."
Thanks so much, Cheryl!!!!
And thanks to all of my students for working so hard, and bringing so much creative juice to class each week!