For the last 3-4 months, I’ve been working on the illustrations for my Koru the Kiwi fictional STEM story, and it’s helped me develop a new appreciation for illustrators. The YouTube videos make it look quick and easy, but I never knew how much time and effort goes into just one page of a children’s picture book, until I had 32 of my own illustrations to do! I understand, now, why authors who self-publish pay so much for a good illustrator. There’s a lot of work involved!
Since I have a full-time job, I didn’t have very many hours during the week to work on my illustrations, but on my days off, I easily spent 12-16 hours a day on my iPad using Procreate. Even then, I was tickled if I got more than one page done per day.
It may sound like a strange thing to say but, just after the new year rolled in, the Lord blessed me with an extremely mild case of Covid. That gave me 10 days off work (including the weekend), and we both knew I wouldn’t have got all I needed to get done by my deadline of Feb 13th without it.
Procreate helped my pictures look more professional, and I loved doing it, but because I’m new at it, it was slow going for me. I can’t imagine spending so much time doing something I didn’t love, of course, so I’m praying writing and illustrating children’s books will soon be my full-time job.
I submitted my Koru story to a NZ contest for picture books, only open for 24hrs, on February 14th. Now I’m looking into other NZ publishers to send it to and working on more stories while I wait to hear back from that.
I’ve included some of the illustrations from my Koru the Kiwi story below. I realize if you’re not very familiar with New Zealand (a huge fan, or from there), the explanations I put with the pictures will have some words that are hard to pronounce. It’s because they are the native Māori words. Still, I hope you like the illustrations!
Koru, the kiwi, with a kākāpō under a kauri tree.
A tūī flying to a pōhutukawa tree.
A bellbird flying to a kōwhai tree.
©️ Linley Adams, Mia Writes, 2023