In the previous Wisdom Wednesday, the Wise Jolle suggested and provided a link to a pdf he thought would be of interest to me. He was very correct. In a few other places online when giving input on portfolios or dummies I have also provided a link to these resources. So now I will do the same for the readers of this blog.
Jolle directed me to the website of Mr. Scott Franson. An illustrator, designer and Professor at Brigham Young University. His first Children's Book, Un-Brella, was published in 2007.
The pdf I was directed to was a Portfolio Evaluation Form that goes over all the areas of a Children's Book Portfolio that an art director looks at and evaluates. The form gives a scale to rate your level in each category and then a scoring tally to determine how close or far you are from being employable within the industry. WOW!!!! I immediately printed this form out and after a thorough going over realized that I was in deep. It pointed out a lot of areas that I was weak and a lot of areas I hadn't even considered!! What a great tool this was! But it didn't stop there.
Mr. Franson also provided links to a number of conferences and organizations that dealt specifically with the Children's Publishing arena. This is how I found out about SCBWI for the first time. This was also the first time I even knew that conferences of this nature existed!! How excited I was at all these amazing possibilities and resources. I was learning that I was not so alone in my quest to break into children's books and that their was a supportive community that I could tap into. How amazing a find! ...But it didn't stop there either! LOL!
Mr. Franson also provided other PDF's. Templates for various size variations and dummy setups. (Vertical, Horizontal, and Square) He provided guides that showed various ways to layout information and illustrations on your pages. And also a Picture Book Anatomy sheet that shows how Picture Books are constructed and setup. But there's still more!!
Mr. Franson has recently restructured his website and all the old links that I would go to have been relocated into a section of his site called Children's Publishing 101. All the wonderful information is still there and he has provided even more!! There are now a series of great articles that he has written exploring Visual Flow and what Storyboarding is and how it benefits the Artist. Amazing and great information throughout!
Please take a moment, (though I recommend a great deal longer) and peruse what Mr. Franson has setup and check back regularly to see what new tidbits he adds as he continues to provide wonderful information for those of us seeking to better our skill sets and knowledge base within the Children's Book Industry.
Mr. Franson's older blog is here. He has a number of great posts that warrant going through but anything newer from him will be at his blog's new location on his website.
Enjoy guys and thank you Scott for providing such a wellspring of information and inspiration.
Please note: All artwork in this post is copyright Scott E Franson