Posted by: nancyisanders | April 11, 2011

I is for Illustration

Do you like to draw? I don’t.

Do you like to use crayons and color? I don’t.

Do you like to paint? I don’t.

But I am a children’s writer. Children like to draw. Children like to color. Children love to create pieces of art and don’t even worry about how it looks.

So as a children’s writer, I am trying to grow. One of the areas I’m trying to grow in is my perception of my world. I want to spend more time looking at the world through the eyes of a child.

So I’ve started to create illustrations.

No, I never want to illustrate one of my books.

And no, I never want to get noticed for my illustrations.

But I WANT to grow as a children’s writer, so I went to the store, bought a blank art notebook for $8 and these great colored pencils that are made of watercolors for $11 and I came home and started to draw in my notebook.

So every day, I’m trying to set aside a portion of my time to sit and observe the world around me and draw things from a child’s point of view.

In essence, I’m creating a type of writer’s journal which is mostly illustrated. I also find I’m tending to include Scriptures that inspire me on almost every picture I create, too.

I’m telling myself it doesn’t matter how “perfect” it is. I’m just trying to enjoy the experience.

And something magical is happening.

It’s really making a difference in how I’m viewing my world.

I’m really connecting with childhood again.

I can see that my writing is better because of it.

And I’m definitely improving as an illustrator, too. You can see a sample of my journal here at the top.

Go ahead and take the plunge! Even if you don’t like to draw (like me) you will be amazed at the depth that will be added to your writing because of this.

Note: The art on this journal page was inspired by the art of Tricia Tusa in Avi’s children’s book, The End of the Beginning, which I read recently.


  1. Nancy –
    Wow. This act really speaks to your commitment to children, writing, and yourself!

    • Thanks, Diane! I know you are an actual artist, so you really can connect with this new experience I’m having!

  2. Wow, Nancy! I’d say you ARE an illustrator. That is a CUTE illustration!! It’s neat to see how you keep growing as a writer.

    • Thanks, Tina…it’s been a challenge, the more I allow myself just to “free” draw, the more I can feel myself growing as a children’s writer.

  3. Looks like you have hidden talents, Nancy! I am enjoying reading your blog and learning from your suggestions. Blogging blessings on you and yours!

  4. Thank you, Pam. And blessings on you and your writing, too!

  5. An art journal is a great idea. My children have their own art journals, but never thought about it for myself. Thank you!

  6. Hey Friend!

    I hate to tell you this but, guess what! YOU are an ARTIST! It’s time to START thinking about illustrating your children’s stories. Oh my goodness! What an exciting gift you’ve uncovered just by resolving to try something new. Thank you for the encouragement to step out of our comfort zones. ~Val

  7. Maybe you don’t want to illustrate your books, but Nancy can you use these drawings for a kid’s calender? I love the illustration- I think kids would love it too!

    • What a fun idea, Michelle! Thanks for the idea…we’ll see! -Nancy

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