This is my favorite part of the process. This is the part where I read the manuscript over and over until I become completely familiar with each character. If I am illustrating directly for a self-publishing author, I also listen carefully to what the author says about the characters and scenes. If I am working for a publisher, the author has very little input, I work with the publisher’s art director. The book I am working on now is for a self-publishing author. It’s about a ‘Round’ little girl who wants to be a ballerina butterfly in the school play. Olivia, all the kids in her class who tease her, the teacher and her very wise grandmother are characters. I will also be illustrating Olivia’s grandmother’s garden, the school room and Olivia’s bedroom.