Today I still save research material. As I work on a new manuscript I begin collecting items and envisioning the way I will design the dummy. I look for images to inspire setting, clothing and color palette. I fill folders with what I find, each folder marked with the corresponding page in the dummy or with general descriptions such as horses, carts, flowers or jugglers. And the best items go up on the board.
The folders are vital -- but the inspiration boards! They’re fun and make me happy and excited about my project. They keep me on target, and are an aid to sustaining the flavor of the story and the emotion I wish to evoke with my illustrations.