What's a Monster Gotta Do? is a concept book that I wrote and illustrated for my Writing for Picture Books class. It was my first time writing for such a young audience and I had quite the difficulty of toeing the line between keeping the words simple but not overdoing it. The original version had rhymes and the ending was supposed to tackle homesickness. However, my professor suggested sticking to only one meaning of 'sickness' and I decided to go for the literal definition because I found it hard to translate homesickness without the entire book being too word-heavy. Plus I kinda wanted to paint monster snot.
For this class, we were expected to write our own concept book and picture story book. Aside from the manuscripts, we also had to submit thumbnails of our stories. The first deadline for our final project pitches had me awake until 7 in the morning because I was being hit by too many ideas but didn't have the skill to translate the stories into versions that would be kid-friendly. My original pitch featured a monster that looked very much like a snail. For my final character sketch, I decided to simplify the monster into a ball of fur because I knew I would have to draw him multiple times.
The color palette for the entire book started with the slime green that I used for the snot. I painted all panels 2 nights before the deadline as I would have to print it out the day before our presentation. My strategy for painting the 14 panels was to paint by color. I started out with all of the snot-related elements and then rotated between basing out the periwinkle for the monster's body, lining the flesh for his appendages, and blocking out the colors of the room spreads. I decided to deviate a bit color palette-wise in the doctor's office spread because I wanted to introduce a slightly foreign feel to it since it's the only part of the book where the character is not at home.
Overall, this class was fun. We got to explore our childhood and there was definitely an effort to rekindle our own individual curiosities and child-like wonder. It further cemented my desire to pursue art and graphic design specializing in the field of childhood, toys, and children's birthday parties. I have so many areas on which I can improve but I am happy that I got to make my own book for children.