Taiwan’s most internationally successful children’s author/illustrator shares his insights into the creative process. Jimmy Liao discusses inspiration, ideas, and implementation, and brings it all down to earth by analyzing his own books.
Since the release of his first picture book in 1998, Jimmy Liao has always managed to release between one and three new books each year. His works have been translated into 20 languages, making him Taiwan’s greatest success story in the international picture book market. Now, he shares the story of the process behind his whimsical creations.
Liao starts from the interior elements of creativity: attitude, ideas, and inspiration. He provides tips to help aspiring illustrators understand the creative mindset, and inspire them to create their own works. He addresses breaking through creative blocks, dealing with discouragement, maintaining work/life balance, taming inner demons, all the while sharing ample details from his own life and work.
In the second half of the book Liao breaks down seven of his own books to explore what went into creating them, revealing the initial inspiration as well as the frustration and difficulties he encountered along the way. The seven books thus analyzed are: Turn Left Turn Right, The Sound of Colors, The Rainbow of Time, Starry Starry Night, So Close Yet So Far, One More Day with You, and I’m Not Perfect. Finally, Liao shares important tips for dealing with the less creative aspects of getting a book published: working with editors, communicating with publishers, dealing with criticism, handling book rights, etc.
A must-read for aspiring illustrators, lovers of picture books, and anyone who does creative work, this heartfelt guidebook is packed with insights, tips, and techniques gleaned from Liao’s prolific and uniquely successful career in children’s books.