Craft Talk with Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey: Visual Storytelling

Photo from IG Live conversation 12/13/20

What a rush to talk visual storytelling with two world-class experts, Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. I am moved by their thoughtful, tender approach to picture book creation and feel inspired to approach my own craft with newfound intention.

Here are a few treasures from our conversation:
🛻 Always start with story: what is the thread of the story we we want to tell? What is the point and purpose of this book?
🛻 Don’t overwrite; leave space not just for pictures and text, but for the readers, too. Allow your reader to develop their own understanding of and resonance with the story
🛻 A single, stand-alone image tells a story on its own using your tools as an artist (e.g. negative space, color, balance, brightness, size), while the interaction between spreads creates opportunity for its own momentum (e.g. page turns, rhythm, story)
🛻 Be intentional with each image: everything on the page needs to serve a purpose
🛻 Watch to witness the layered beat around the girl’s physical distance to the truck in THE OLD TRUCK— this revelation gave me goosebumps!

Thank you, thank you for taking the time to connect and share your wisdom, Jarrett and Jerome! I did not want that conversation to end. I will be waiting in anticipation for THE OLD BOAT coming out in March. Pre-order now!

For quick reference, here are the books discussed in today’s talk:
THE OLD TRUCK by @jpumphrey and @wjpumphrey
THE OLD BOAT by @jpumphrey and @wjpumphrey
SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE by @macbarnett, illustrated by @jonklassen
DU IZ TAK by @carsonellis
THE LITTLE BARBARIAN by @renatomoriconi

(Conversation held on December 13, 2020 on IG Live @carolinepritchardwrites)

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