4 Ways for Picture Book Creators to Find Inspiration

November is turning into a great month for inspiration for children's book writers and illustrators. Here are some things inspiring me to be more creative:

1. Picture Book Idea Month, also known as PiBoIdMo

Children's book author Tara Lazar organizes this month-long event, which challenges writers to come up with 30 picture book ideas during the month of November. Each day, she blogs or has guests blog about writing picture books. Today is the last day to sign up in order to be eligible for prizes and giveaways, but anyone can participate at anytime this month.

2. Picture Book Month

November 2011 has been designated a month to celebrate picture books. Every day this month, an author or illustrator will explain why she or he thinks picture books are important at the Picture Book Month site. My own views are that picture books are important because:
  • they are one of the best ways young children can explore the wide world, through beautiful words and images; 
  • they help develop literacy as children associate words and pictures with stories;
  • they allow parents and children to bond while reading together; and 
  • they foster a life-long love of reading.

3. New York Times List of 10 Best Illustrated Books for Children

Yesterday, the New York Times published its list of the years's best illustrated books for children. The Caldecott winners often are found on this annual list. What better inspiration for writers and illustrators than to read some of the best books of the year?

4. Ongoing participatory outlets.

Creating art or writing can be lonely, but the online world offers much encouragement and inspiration. For example:
  • Illustration Friday: Illustrators of all genres and skill levels are encouraged to illustrate a weekly prompt or idea and link their illustration to this site. 
  • Watercolor Wednesdays: I haven't done this, but it looks like a good site for children's illustrators who specialize in watercolors

  • Alphabeasts: I just learned about this from fellow illustrator Melinda Beavers, a weekly challenge to draw imaginary or fictional creatures.

What inspires you?

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