ELA 3: An Illustrator's Job

Yep, there's actually a career out there that wants you to doodle in books. And not just in the margins. Sometimes they'll give you whole pages to fill. Today we'll learn about the illustrious job of an illustrator.

3rd GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School3rd Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:26

…but much of the time, they help to clarify something visually, kick-start a reader’s

00:30

imagination, or just break up the monotony of all those dang words. [Girl falls to sleep because the book is so boring]

00:35

So…how do illustrators…illustrate?

00:38

What makes them more than just glorified doodlers? [Guy holding up a stick man drawing]

00:41

Well, first they read through the text of a story and decide which scenes to illustrate.

00:45

They can’t illustrate every single detail or scene, obviously, so they choose the ones

00:49

that would make for the best illustrations. [Woman flicking through a book]

00:51

Next, they form a plan of action.

00:53

They clearly outline the steps they want to take in order to create their illustrations. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:57

They start by making a dummy.

00:58

No need for the guy in the dunce cap to take offense…it’s just another word for a model. [Guy with dunce cap looks upset]

01:03

Something like…a practice book.

01:04

They use pencil to make sketches, so they can go back and change their mistakes if needed.

01:08

Except for the ones who are really full of themselves [Guy drawing with a sharpie]

01:11

Remember when you learned about character perspectives?

01:13

Well, illustrators have to decide on the point of view for each illustration as well.

01:18

Should the picture be drawn from the character’s point of view, or should the picture show

01:21

the character in action?

01:23

Should it show multiple characters, or only focus on one? [Different illustrations being shown]

01:26

Should the sun have a smiley face on it?

01:27

All important decisions.

01:29

Often an illustrator will use a model to help them draw how a character feels.

01:33

Guess how this character feels.

01:35

Everyone needs good feedback on their work.

01:38

Just like you show your work to your classmates and teachers, illustrators show their work

01:41

to the editor, and to the designer at the publishing company.

01:45

They get feedback and make changes as requested. [Guy drawing with a pencil instead of a sharpie now]

01:48

They will literally go back to the drawing board.

01:50

The editor’s job is to decide if the pictures really tell the story… [Editor looks annoyed that the illustrator has made a drawing of their own bathroom]

01:53

… while the designers can also make suggestions, and is responsible for choosing the type and

01:57

wording for the cover of the book.

01:59

It’s on the illustrator to decide how to complete the final drawings, and what tools

02:03

they’re going to use to get achieve their vision.

02:05

They choose what kind of paper to use, whether to use paint or crayon, and so on.

02:09

Most of them steer clear of finger paints. [Guy shows the editor a messy painting]

02:11

Once the cover is done…it’s time to party.

02:14

Illustrator-style.