This project is something I have set up in the hope I will one day be able to bring my paintings to life for children in the form of illustrated fiction and non fiction story books starting off intially with picture/feely books for children aged 0-6 years. As a teacher I am constantly reading books to children and have identifyed evident gaps in the market for a new style and trend which is favoured by children, parents and publishers today. Children are captivated by pretty, powerful imagery enhanced by sensory adaptations and I feel my paintings lend themselves to this.
Picture books are storybooks with full colour illusrations that are usually used my children up to the age of 6. Sensory touch and sound, aids the development of children as well as keeping them entertained. By combining these things together the picture book would be an educational yet fun way of learning for all young children. Some children from experience withdraw from certain types of play and have extreme adverse reactions to certain sensory experiences. When i begin making my picture books and adding sensory additions I will be testing these at every stage of development with an array of children including those with SEND so that my picture books when published are loved and inclusive of all children. There is a real lack of picture books that are suitable for all and this is upsetting for parents who cannot buy the same books as other children because of certain adatations.
When children develop they enjoy seeing their reflection and so I am looking forward to having pages in the book where the child will have their face surrounded by a butterfly or other beautiful creature so it makes them look like they are the beautiful butterfly. I will after development add a cd for music synced to each page and if money and product allows enable buttons on each page where the child can press to gain a sound of the enviroment that animal is in.
Colour illustrations are expensive to produce however and novelty books (pop up/flap books) are expensive to manufacture and usually commissioned in-house, along with sensory additions which can prove to be very expensive especially with having to make sure all the sensory materials are suitable for all children. For many considering self-publishing, cost is the first question and concern. The range you can spend to self-publish varies dramatically. The trick i have discovered is to find the happy medium of buying what I need and doing what I can on my own. For the money I raise I will begin to start painting the illustrations for my books and trialing different materials/sounds through child research before deciding on the sensory additions then go onto gaining the help of a book publisher in Newcastle to help with the layout, development before finally getting my books factory manufactured which will prove very expensive, but i hope worthwhile.
I am very excited about this, with the launch of my website too I am hopeful things will progress. Having recently being commisioned to create characters for animation, this seems the natural step and something i have being in discussion with a London book manufacturer for a little while, but when its not your full time job, time proves a barrier.