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My Storybook & Making Dreams Come True

As we are putting the finishing touches on my picture book, I thought I’d share with you a bit about how it all began.

I came up with the story while taking a bath in Texas.

At the same time, I’d been sketching all of these whimsical characters with stabilo pencil. I was staying at a place on the ground floor, and everyone else in the building would take their dogs out onto the grass in front of my porch all day, so while I love creating outside, I was having trouble staying focused and not getting distracted.

So I started sketching instead.

And that story and those sketches are what led me to start creating my picture book.

I had no idea when I started this picture book how to put it all together.

I began with a simple layout… basically my original drawings on one side of the page and the words on the other. But that just did not flow.

Soon I realized I needed to make the drawings fill every page, so that the words and images worked together. I also wanted to add in a few of my mixed media paintings.

I needed to come up with a way to make it all fit.

So, I redid every drawing and painting, extending them to fill every page of the book.

Next I realized the book needed more color.

My book is about monsters in your closet. As the story goes along, the reader is invited to follow the monsters and see where they live. After visiting the monsters, life changes forever.

I wanted to show this change visually (I was always told in writing class, “show, don’t tell”).

The reader needs to see the world fill with colors, so I started coloring in the sketches at the back of the book. And that’s when the book really came together.

I am so proud of this book and how it is all fitting together. The entire process has been a reminder to keep dreaming and to see those dreams through, knowing that creativity does not run in a straight line or even follow logic, but that the journey can lead you (and many others) to worlds you’ve never dreamed of.

I can’t wait to share this book with you (so soon!).

We are just finalizing the last few pages and adding words (digitally). My lovely husband, Brian Knapp, has been collaborating with me on the book, taking my paintings and drawings and scanning them into InDesign to create what will soon become the actual book!

In the meantime, if you’d like to see how this book has evolved from start to finish, you can see the process here:

The Very Beginning Of The Book
More Paintings and Sketches
Adding The Mixed Media Paintings
Making The Book Flow Together

Do you have any dreams that are calling you?

I have always wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. I remember in the first grade, the father of a classmate came in and talked about writing children’s books and my heart exploded. I’ll be sure to look for your dreams in the comments of this post.

May all of your dreams come true!

Juliette Crane

Ps. If you’d like to paint together, there’s an incredible group gathered already for my new online class PAINTING FOR THE HEART – A Mini Course. Click here to join us anytime.

Pps. Click here to browse through my first book (published November 2014)… Inspired By The Little Things.


  1. So happy you are finding so much joy in creativity! I love that the “idea” for the book was born in Texas! Hope to be able to paint with you again sometime.

  2. It’s amazing how such great things seem to manifest all by themselves, isn’t it?

    I’m currently in some kind of weird transition period. I can feel changes on the horizon but I have no idea where they’re headed! I’m just trying to focus on following my own day-dreams and creative impulses in hopes that they will steer me in the right direction…

    Can’t wait to see the finished book!

    • thanks, tayla! the process is always the most fun, but it can be frustrating when you’re in that middle point, not knowing where the end is going to be. it always helps me to say yes to everything… no idea is too weird or not right… you never know where it’ll take you 🙂 good luck with it all! xo juliette

  3. this looks like an amazing story – cant wait to see the actual book. Creating a childrens book has always been a goal of mine, any chance you could create a class about it? I am so at ease with your presentation and teaching style- it would be great ! (just saying 😉

  4. I’m so delighted for you, Juliette! I knew it was just a matter of time before you took this step. I adore your work. I’m a children’s author (until recently mostly novels). In the past few years I’ve discovered that making art nourishes my imagination in countless unforeseen ways. Your videos have been so inspiring to me. Can’t wait to see the final book! All the very best. Jen

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