Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Art Director’s Assignment



Illustrator Day 2018


Art Director’s Assignment


This year we’re trying something new. Illustrators have an option. You may either complete the Art Director Assignment or you may complete the Art Director Assignment PLUS the Art Director’s Challenge! It’s totally your choice! Our hope is that everyone will participate in one capacity or another (but once again, it’s not a requirement). Here’s what you need to know:


The Art Director’s Assignment: How Do I Love Thee?

For this assignment, our art director Dana Fritts asks you to read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem How Do I Love Thee? You will find the text of this poem below the assignment description. Spend time visualizing this text as an illustrated picture book. Who are your characters? What is the setting? Because the text lacks a concrete storyline found in most picture books, an illustrator would need to create a visual narrative to keep the reader intrigued from beginning to the end of the book. Once you can imagine the story unfolding, select one image to develop to a final illustration. This one image could be a double-page spread or a single page illustration. You decide.


The Art Director’s Challenge: Creating a Narrative Flow

For the Art Director’s Challenge, illustrators will go one step further. Rather than only imaging the story unfolding, illustrators will develop their ideas into thumbnails for the 32 page picture book inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem. You will decide text breaks that will work best with your illustrations and the pacing of the book. The thumbnail should include the front matter: a single title page, and a spread dedicated to the copyright and dedication. The front matter can be used to set up the story. An additional spread may be used for a full title page if it can be accommodated in the 32 page format. The thumbnails can be very loose sketches. Remember, you’ll be submitting the thumbnails with one final illustration (see the AD Assignment above.)  If you plan to complete the Art Director’s Challenge, please email Virginia Law Manning at 


What to bring and how to submit this assignment: Please complete the Art Director Assignment in your desired medium. If you’re completing the thumbnails as well, you’ll probably want to use pencil for your sketches. Save your Art Director Assignment as a medium resolution JPG labeled Last Name_ADA.jpg  If you’re completing the Art Director Challenge, please save that as a separate JPG labeled Last Name_ADC.jpg. Email both files to with “Art Director’s Assignment 2018” or “Art Director Assignment & Challenge 2018” in the subject line of the email no later than September 1st (no extensions). All participants’ images will be shown in a Powerpoint presentation for critique. Please also bring a good color print (recommended) of your final illustration and a B&W photocopy of your thumbnail page. The print should be no larger than 11″ x 17″.


Now to get started, spend some time with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful poem!



How Do I Love Thee?

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning


How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

I love thee deep and wide and high.

I love thee in soft sunlight

and rain-drizzled night.

I love thee with a whisper

and a song

and a roar.

And when out of sight

and in every day’s most quiet needs.

I love thee by stars and candlelight.

By spring’s first snowdrops

and fall’s red trees

and winter’s frost-etched breath.

I love thee with all my smiles and tears.

I love thee when first you wake

and at end of day’s goodnight kiss.

And I will always love thee.