Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tomie dePaola Award Contest Entry and Process

This blog post is a little late, but I just wanted to shout out a great big "THANK YOU!" to the Universe and Tomie dePaola for selecting my piece as third place for the Tomie dePaola Award Contest. I am so grateful to have placed, and I wish I could make it to the amazing SCBWI Winter Conference this year!

The 2016 Prompt was to "illustrate a moment from the following passage from Philip Pullman's version of "Little Red Riding Hood" from Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm (Viking, 2012)."

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was so sweet and kind that everyone loved her. Her grandmother, who loved her more than anyone, gave her a little cap made of red velvet, which suited her so well that she wanted to wear it all the time. Because of that everyone took to calling her Little Red Riding Hood.
One day her mother said to her: ‘Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve got a job for you. Your grandmother isn’t very well, and I want you to take her this cake and a bottle of wine. They’ll make her feel a lot better. You be polite when you go into her house, and give her a kiss from me. Be careful on the way there, and don’t step off the path or you might trip over and break the bottle and drop the cake, and then there’d be nothing for her. When you go into her parlour don’t forget to say, “Good morning, Granny,” and don’t go peering in all the corners.’
‘I’ll do everything right, don’t worry,’ said Little Red Riding Hood, and kissed her mother goodbye.
Her grandmother lived in the woods, about half an hour’s walk away. When Little Red Riding Hood had only been walking a few minutes, a wolf came up to her. She didn’t know what a wicked animal he was, so she wasn’t afraid of him.

Tomie gave us the specs and added that there should not be room left for type in this case. He also recommended that we read the whole story. I took the hint. It actually gave me important context for the setting of my illustration because it mentions in a later passage that RRH gets sidetracked picking wildflowers for her grandmother at the Wolf's suggestion.
I roughly knew how I wanted it to go visually, but it took me a LOT of thumbnails to get it right. I decided the moment I wanted to illustrate (highlighted above) had to include the wolf, because it had the most tension.
My final selection is on the bottom right, a combination of all the elements I thought worked best. I still made some minor adjustments in the final, though.

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