Sunday, August 9, 2009

Marla Frazee: How Your Words Inspire Me to Draw Pictures--and How They Don't

Illustrators, Marla says, need their pictures to be in a relationship with the text and she feels security in the text when she's illustrating books she hasn't written. If she's written the text and she finds herself in a spot where things aren't working, it's almost as if there are too many options--which Marla finds scary yet exhilarating.

She keeps hearing rules about picture books such as that a readers should be able to understand and follow the story just by looking at the illustrations, and that the illustrations should say something different than what's being said in the words. Marla disagrees with these rules.

Instead, the words and picture should work together, they should dance.



  1. Marla's illos do dance, don't they? Thanks for posting this. That session had several speakers that I really wanted to see, but could not go to all of them :( This gives me a tidbit of her talk.

  2. I agree with her interpretation of the picture book. Neither the art nor the writing should stand alone (unless it's a wordless picture book and you are David Wiesner.) It should be like a Roman arch- with complementary give and take as its keystone. Marla does it so very well. Gush.

  3. I totally agree with this...I ran across this post. I know this is back in August.