Developing concepts and thumbnailing is a step that I don’t often share with my authors, but is always the first thing I do before sketching in detail the layout of a children’s book. The first thing I do is break up the manuscript into chunks that I think would be fun to illustrate… basically dividing up the manuscript into however many pages the book will be. Then I brainstorm ideas and write notes for each spread, which gets out the cobwebs before starting to sketch! Then I sketch thumbnails (which are very small rough drawings) of each spread. By thumbnailing, I can work out where I want the text to go, what reference I’ll need to gather for the subject matter, and whether the compositions are working well. For “Tartan Meets the Queen,” by Charline Crous & Lauren Everton, I thought it might be interesting to share this earlier step with both authors to involve them earlier on in the creative process. You can see here some of my notes, thumbnails, and gathered reference materials for the story which I sent to the authors in PDF format.