June 2nd at the Prospect Heights Public Library, I had the great pleasure of attending Terri Murphy’s Journey of a Picture Book, an illustrator’s presentation of: One Day I Went Rambling a new picture book written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Terri Murphy.
Terri took us on a photo and illustrated journey of what went into writing and illustrating this book and also her own rambling. Terri’s rambling began when she was about five with a pair of binoculars securely hanging from her neck, ready to capture her next adventure.
So where does a writer and illustrator start…
“With an idea” Terri told us. And research, and drawing, re-drawing and more drawing. Terri first took us on Kelly Bennett’s journey of what inspired her to write One Day I Went Rambling. Kelly’s story came from a favorite poem she read as a young child called One Day When We Went Walking by Valine Hobbs. Terri started her rambling for this book by looking at pictures of kids hanging out together, here’s one of the images that sparked her imagination for the many characters in the book. For a more contemporary style, she also looked at images of the Cosby kids .
“The first thing they want is the cover,” said Terri, so this is where she began. Since the author didn’t describe an exact geographical location, Terri came up with the idea of placing the kids and story in an inner city local, and she drew on her own memories of growing up in Chicago. You start sketching and “you create a whole world.” These are three sketches that she shared with us and worked on for the cover. The third cover below is the one that was chosen for the book.
And some characters, Terri mentioned are “exactly perfect” right from the start. Terri’s drawing of Ruth was one of these characters…
And if you haven’t yet seen the actual book here’s a color spread that I particularly like to wet your appetite:
Terri wrapped up her presentation with a few interactive drawing and writing challenges for the audience and finished by signing our books. Thanks Terri for a great presentation!
You can view more of Terri’s illustrations at her website http://www.terrimurphyart.com