SCBWI Canada East Blog

April 13, 2015

7:16 PM 1

I am first and foremost a writer. I have never studied any kind of visual arts, except for a Ladies' Painting Night which includes more discussions about OUTLANDER than anything else. I have heard of writers becoming successful illustrators.  I don't think I am one of these, but one never knows what the future may hold. 
However, I have realized that sketching faces that, to me, represent the characters of my work in progress, help me picture them in their world.  
It helps me get to know them.  I can imagine what his/her facial expressions would be when s/he is angry, sad or happy.  I can draw, if you can call it that, their frustration with their situation; their determination to solve their problem; and their joy or disappointment with the outcome of their efforts.  
I can start with stick figures or smilie faces, maybe even an emoji or two. I then add a hair style and what the character would wear.  I can create a backstory by thinking about when s/he got his/her skin tone, or hair colour.  How tall is s/he? Are they athletic or a couch potato?  All of this can be discovered by "doodling."
Again, I highly doubt my illustrations will make it to the public, but they have become an important part of my writing process. Try it and who knows, you may find a new talent..

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