I have most often been asked how I began illustrating children’s books.
Id prefer to offer the nontraditional route. I have been in the art field for over 50 years. Nothing for me has been as discouraging as following the “traditional route”.
I began illustrating my own stories and presenting them to others. Also by creating my own portfolio of illustrated art work, I would not be limited to what I had been paid to create in order to have something to show.
I have often presented the idea of illustrating stories as being like a director of a movie. One has to live inside the characters, imagine their body language, a body type that goes with the personality.
Sometimes its a matter of communicating really well with your author to get into the characters nature. The more you know about a character the easier it is to empathize with their type, tendancies and appearance. Also by making a study of the face, muscles of the face and how emotion moves the face and head in subtle ways are all relevant.
Start with a poem, a favorite story perhaps even your own characters in need of a good story.
Make everything you do ART