Sunday, 21 July 2013

Why Children's Illustration?

Hello again! Things have been pretty hectic lately and today I have decided to write a new blog post just to let you know that I am in fact still alive.

Like I have mentioned in my previous posts, I stated that I wanted to particularly focus on drawing illustrations for children. This post will tell you the reasons behind that and I'll try to illustrate it with pictures later on. 

So, Why Children's Illustration?

My top three answers for this question is because of:

  • Imagination- I believe that in childhood, when the child is looking at visual imagery, this transforms them into different worlds. I know it sounds cheesy, but from my personal opinion when I look at pictures, especially illustrations, it is like an escape from reality.
  • Creativity- This links to the previous one, and after viewing the visual imagery I believe that this leads to creativity. Pictures can inspire children to be creative, whether it be through drawing, writing and many other things.
  • Dreams- At some point I think everyone in their childhood had some pretty ambitious dreams or career plans. I wanted to be a lot of things when I was younger like being a princess (I still do actually!) and also one of them was being an artist. Although Illustration and Fine Art are different, it's similar and encompasses drawing, which is my biggest passion in the world. Because of my childhood, I still want to pursue my Illustration career. 
During my first year of college (sixth-form), I took up Psychology and at times I did find it 'intriguing' but didn't mange to finish on to the second year (probably because of my doodling). But, I did remember a few little things from it though. One of them was that the Developmental Approach in Psychology explains that early childhood experiences can affect choices later in life, therefore developing the child's thinking- mentally and also physically. 

I will tell you something about myself. I was bullied in school. To be honest, I think everyone has been through this at some point in their life. 
Up to about the age of 5 I studied in the Philippines and when I was 6, me, my Mum and little two brothers came to the UK so that we could live with my Dad as he had found a job here. When I went to school for the first time in the UK, I could hardly speak any English (that meant I found it hard to communicate), and also I was a very quiet child. Some people were friendly to me and I still remember their faces up until now, and some not so friendly. 

Those not so positive people treated me as if I was different and that made me feel alienated, like I didn't belong. Being quiet is a part of my personality, which I think is a good thing, and I learnt that the people here in England (not all) are quite loud and very outspoken. Don't get me wrong, I love the British! Up to date I feel that being surrounded by them has definitely opened my confidence a lot more. 

The main issue that arises in childhood is Negativity. Like I have mentioned above, children (like me when I was younger) have been or is going through bullying right now. I'm pretty certain everyone has gone through the name-calling stage, the victim behind gossiping and many other cruel things. To me, I don't know why certain people feel that it's necessary to do this in the first place. It makes people feel weak, defeated and having the need to give up. It's quite sad to hear news about people (including children) who attempt suicide or self-harm. Certainly, when I was younger I didn't particularly feel good about myself and went through a rather depressing stage. I just kept quiet and no-one ever really took notice of me (except family of course). All of that came from Negativity, whether it be the tiniest, most smallest negative comment. Negativity causes trauma, anxiety, fear and could potentially ruin a child's stability. My advice, when speaking to someone is to think twice about what you say before you speak. 

Anyway, moving swiftly on...

So lately I have been sifting and reading through some children's books. Now, I know what you're thinking. I am crazy for doing this by being an 18 year old. But there is a reason behind that. If I am going to go into Illustration (particularly on the children's section) I most definitely need to look at what the market offers today and see what's out there. Luckily, I have kept some of the books from my childhood most of which are Roald Dahl's (he was and still is one my favourite authors). At the moment I am collecting and hoarding them in my room. It's great!

I decided to re-read Matilda, by Roald Dahl as I thought it would bring me back childhood memories- which it definitely did! I haven't read this book since, I would say around the age of 9 or 10, doing it gave me that feeling of nostalgia. As you can see, I went just a tad bit bizarre with the post-it notes, highlighting quotes, genius pieces of words/ phrases from Dahl and the odd facts here and there.
Just from this book (and also the film) which I read when I was younger, I was inspired to read books. It inspired me to a whole new world of Literature and also helped me with my English language whilst in school, and also improved my communication with others. Matilda, this character that Dahl invented became an inspiration to me. At several points when I was reading the book, I found it so surprising that I was almost like Matilda in some ways. It was crazy because I felt like I was almost her in the book, reading about myself. 
Relating this to one of the previous paragraphs about Negativity, there's a character called Miss Trunchbull who is all about Negativity. I won't go into much detail about it, because I might spoil it but if you haven't read have to read it!
The Author and also the Illustrator of this book is one of the many reasons behind my creativity. 
Dahl and Blake were a match made in heaven and I have to thank them for their Genius and Craziness!

I truly believe that pictures (along with the words) can help trigger a child's imagination, creativity and also dreams. Through visual imagery, at a young age when children are starting to sound out words through speech, the pictures alongside does most of the work and it can speak a thousand words. An illustration isn't just a picture, but it also explains words in a way nothing can. They tell a story within themselves and with the help of a parent or a guardian they can help familiarise a child with words. Yes, it may just be a book full of 'silly little illustrations'  but pictures literally do transform you into different worlds. This is why I love drawing. 

If you're at this point and you're tired of my voice, hang in there because I have some photographs to show you all. Yes! Enough of the words! Show us some pictures!

Since I have been away from Blogging over the past week or so, I will fill you in with some of the many adventures I have had with some very special people. 

10th of July 2013. 'Twas A Lovely Day In Baffins. (With my Mum)

 Here's me in our back garden, armed with the camera, ready to take pictures for later in Baffins.

Here's me, feeding the little pigeons.

My Mum's turn feeding the little pigeons. 

@ Baffins Pond.

Coooooo! Coooooo! <that was my rather brilliant pigeon impression.

It might look at cute and everything, but they were actually fighting for food.  

I used to live in the Baffins area when I was younger and so I would visit this park frequently with family and old friends. It was nice to re-visit the park again and go exploring in the playground!

This slide wasn't there before, and of course I had to go on it! An 18 year old can never have too much fun. 

14th of July 2013. Our Rather Large Adventure In Southsea. (With my friends)

We went on a long hike.

Me and Shana trying to be all mysterious...

Here we are again, being all quirky and eccentric.

Hello Kitty & Harold. My children (lol). 

Freedom! (This is the lovely Sami)

Visiting le old King Henry VIII. (With Tariro)

In this photo he's saying "OFF WITH YOUR HEADS!"

Me with my wonderful friends. Something rather amusing happened at the back. (hehe, ^_^)

Striking a pose. 

We took a lot of selfies on that day.

Riding a ducky! Shana was the driver and captain of the ducky and her look just about explains how she felt during our voyage into the unknown.

Astrid, Sami and Me.

Group selfie on the ducky.

Poor duckies! They better not get beheaded or anything like that...

Oh yes, le monkey bars. Got a few stares, haha! Nonetheless, it was so much fun.

You like my noble steed?

Dancin' along. Except for Tariro, she was just trottin' along behind Sami. 

17th of July 2013. Tito (Uncle) Garry's Birthday. 

On the 17th was my Uncle's birthday. When he was a student studying Architecture, I was around 3 or 4 years old and saw that he drew a picture of Tweety- that was the moment I got inspired to draw. Sadly, I wasn't there to celebrate his birthday in the Philippines, but I will be there again in a few days time to go on holiday and meet family again!

Here is an old school report from when I was in Year 2. We had to write down one thing what we were good and bad at. My bad point just happens to be maths. Unfortunately, my maths skills have not improved massively, only just slightly. But, I do remember the Pythagoras Theorem! I just can't do numbers, it's always been visual pictures that have been embedded in my rather strange head. 

Being 18 and looking at that doodle I made a few years back, I decided to do an 'updated' version. Only a quick 15 minute doodle, this. 

 Of course I couldn't leave you with some little tiny baby pictures, so here some are...


Apologies again for the long post but I  just wanted to clearly put my point across strongly. 

In three days time I will be going on another adventure (one that I think will be the best so far) to the Philippines to visit family and celebrate my 18th birthday debut. I will be there for about a month.
If I can, I will try to update you with my adventures and travels, depending on the wi-fi connection. I really can't contain my excitement!

To come to a conclusion, the main reason why I want to go into children's illustration is because it encompasses EVERYTHING. There are a lot of different subjects I can draw- from animals, environment, people, places, up to just about everything. I am a keen observer and the world just interests me. That, and I am also a child at heart.
I truly hope I can change or at least inspire one child out there. 


  1. Dear Gianne, what a very contemplating thought.

    I couldn't agree more. In fact, in my personal experienced being a children's illustrator isn't merely just do the drawing thing.
    Every body can learn to draw, every body can be an illustrator, but, not everybody can be a children's illustrator.
    Because, - Not everybody have children's perspective, it needs a special approach and observation to draw for the children. The Illustrator needs to understand children thought, imagination, fantasy and phsychology
    But that the hardest part is..conquering ourself, our fear, our ego, our ambition when we draw for children. (But i think reading from your background story, being a stranger in a strange land, you have passed your fear, and your ego.)
    So, i have following your progress lately, and in my opinion, you have substantially found your half way to become a children illustrator. Go for it girl!
    Oh..maybe you have already done that, but just an advice from me, while your in Philippines, try to draw as much a you can, challenge yourself. A different and an exotic place can bring you a different point of view, different imagination and fantasy.
    I would love to know more of your progress.

    1. Thank You so much for the amazing response Alfa. I just don't know what to say after what you've said, I'm quite speechless! I will definitely take on board your feedback and advice in order to progress. I seriously can't thank you enough, Thank You for everything. If it wasn't for you discovering my work on Pinterest I don't think I would have written this blog post. You've definitely encouraged me up until this point :) .

    2. Hi, Gianne. You're welcome. Also, you might want to read this.

      Alfa Sukatmo

    3. Yes, I saw it :) It made my day a whole lot better!

  2. That was the best pigeon impression I've ever read!

    1. Haha! Thank You very much. I try my best. I do love doing le old animal impressions, so I will sure to keep doing that :D .