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The Drawing Board Journals has much to teach writers and editors, as well as artists. What Denise Shimabukuro makes clear in her book-as-master class is that artists make the same choices writers do: Whose point of view? How to communicate a character’s traits/emotions/thoughts? What role does the setting play? Do I focus on a detail or the big picture? Move at a steady pace or take a more dramatic approach?


Who (meaning me, as a writer) knew that artists consider:

—a medium shot “offers the narration in the third person.”

—“a downshot can demonstrate vulnerability and loneliness”

—that the final illustration must convey “resolve” and “a sense of closure.”


Not me. When working on books that required art notes, I generally thought of the notes as secondary to my VERY IMPORTANT words. The Drawing Board Journals gave me a greater understanding of an artist’s considerations, as well as the very language and vocabulary of the art. It also brought me to the humbling realization that the best illustrated books don’t come from just a writer’s words or just an artist’s drawings, but when both creative streams merge into a story flow that lets the reader set sail.


Read and ponder The Drawing Board Journals. It will make you a better informed, more thoughtful writer.


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