As well as looking at children's picture books, I asked some family/ family friends ranging from 6/8 year olds to gain some inspiration. They liked the idea of my character playing the guitar and having stage fright, and that my narrative revolves around a talent show. However, I think at least two children who looked at one of my latest my dummy books questioned the idea of the lead protagonist being with animals. In the end, I made the decision to add them as part of the narrative as I thought it would add a bit more magic and imagination to my story. Plus, they're so fun to draw!
Paper Dolls, by Rebecca Cobb (inspired by the idea of growing up, showing a progression and change in the character over time)
Jon Klassen-The Dark (anxiety related) and I Want My Hat Back (inspiration for animals), and also the textures he uses.
Simone Lia (Simple character design, and layout of type across the page)
Jonny Hannah (lino prints that also inspired my lino prints!)
Martin Salisbury (Illustrating Children's books) sequencing, thummbnails and flatplans.
Looking at what is popular in the children's book section. And also finding illustration styles similar to my own.
These have particularly inspired me to consider a limited colour palette, using bright strong bold colours. Even if they are vintage, they still look contemporary in their own right, and I guess that's what I have been trying to do within my work. And also, because my narrative includes music this was a perfect piece of inspiration!
I was to told to extend my references further, considering things that I love and inspire me. Above just shows some things I've collected for a while that have influenced me as an illustrator. My home, the beautiful places I have visited, music and illustrations by other artists. Being original in illustration, from what I have learnt is not an original process. I have to gather all the things that I consider beautiful, putting this together with my own experiences in order for the art to capture this.