I’m not an artist. Not even close. I’m sure you can tell from the illustrations. As a child, my mom convinced (read forced) me to take an art exam and my art teacher told me he would write a note in blood that I will fail in the exam. Well, I passed, just barely. While I was writing the book, I realized that I would need illustrations. Of the two resident artists in my house, my wife and son, neither were interested in making the illustrations for my book. What I was really good at though was engineering drawing. So I came up with an engineer’s solution to the illustrations – everything is just Math after all 😉.
In the Chapter 22, where I explain how to layout things on a website, I used shapes in Word to make the layout. Then, at a whim, I opened up PowerPoint and put a few shapes together and tried to make a convincing looking person and to my surprise with a creative collection of shapes I had the beginnings of the boy on the cover page. I had only used three shapes so far – ovals, a crescent moon for the hair and a curve for the mouth. The triangle for the nose came later and the cap was a last minute addition. More on that later.
The girl was a copy paste of the boy, mirrored with another crescent moon for the pony tail. The next illustration I made was the running dude (or as my son calls him, the creepy guy).
Looking through the list of shapes in PowerPoint, the only thing close to curly hair was clouds. So that is how his hair is made. Now I was running out of ways to make things different and started looking at all the other things I could insert. I inserted an icon of a girl (the menu item right next to shape):
I discovered that you can convert icons to shapes and then do what you want with them, and that’s how creepy girl was created:
Which brings me back to the boy’s cap. Once I discovered that icons can become shapes and you can ungroup them, color, them, resize individual parts, it made it a lot easier to finish the rest of the illustrations and add to them like the cap. For the second book, maybe I’ll get an illustrator or maybe I’ll get better at using shapes and icons. Let’s see how it goes.