I tested 'Plug The Monster Rapper' out on my own girls and my wider family circle and they were all very positive about the story, but I was unsure how to take it any further. Encouraged by my lovely family, I sent the story to a few publishers without success and entered it into a competition, again unsuccessfully. I enquired about getting professional illustrations done, but I just couldn't justify the expense at that time.
I have always been quite creative and really enjoyed drawing as a child, so I knew that despite my Grade C in GCSE Art (which my brother never lets me forget!), that I could probably make an attempt at drawing some illustrations myself. After some research into writing children's books, I put together a storyboard of 'Plug the Monster Rapper' and sketched some ideas of illustrations for most of the pages.
The problem was how to start drawing the actual illustrations and what to use to make them look professional. I bought a variety of different drawing materials (paints, pastels and pencils) and had a few attempts at using them, but I didn't know to transfer my drawings successfully into digital format.
After a lot of online research using YouTube and blogs about how to illustrate children's books, I saw a recommendation for the Procreate drawing app. It turned out to be £9.99 well spent. A few online tutorials later, I managed to get to grips with the basics of layers and brushes and I am still learning. My main obstacle to progress was finding time to draw anything, so most of my illustrations were done late at night when I finally had the iPad all to myself! It took just over a year to complete the illustrations.