Marylu Downing

When an Author Is Also an Artist:  The Visual Writer

The written word has traditionally been considered the most important tool for storytellers to employ.

However, there is a subset of artists whose work transcends linguistic barriers.

These picture book authors have a special talent for using vivid images to attract readers and evoke emotional responses.

We set out today to learn about the wonderful field of the visual writer, where art and narrative dance hand in hand.

Using The Right Words

Visual writers can uniquely evoke images in the reader’s mind with only the right choice of words. Their writing is full of vivid imagery and sensory details that transport the reader to another realm.

These authors weave a mental picture for the reader out of finely chosen metaphors, detailed language, and evocative wording that stays with them long after they’ve finished the book.

Each word is a brushstroke, painting vivid pictures in our minds as the story unfolds.

Using Metaphors and Similes to Create Memorable Visuals

Metaphors and similes are the visual writer’s tools, allowing them to connect seemingly unrelated ideas and produce striking visuals.

These authors add depth and resonance to their stories by deftly drawing parallels between intangible notions and real-world objects or events.

Through the use of metaphor, even a single sentence can unlock a wealth of deeper meaning for the reader.

The Art of Creating Memorable Locations

Locations are more than just scenery for visual storytellers; they’ve fully realized characters in their own right.

These writers painstakingly create worlds as vibrant and unique as the protagonists who live there. They take the reader to emotionally resonant worlds through vivid descriptions, evocative imagery, and an appreciation of aesthetics.

The settings play a significant role in the story since they set the tone, evoke the appropriate feelings, and leave an indelible impression on the reader.

Utilizing Creativity

Writers who work visually appreciate the importance of allowing readers to use their creativity. They sow seeds of imagery with dexterity, inviting readers into an interactive creative process.

These authors set a visual framework for their readers to build upon, encouraging them to use their experiences and views to create an internal image of the story.

By working together to make something new, the story takes on greater significance and resonance for the reader.

Connecting Words with Images

Some authors believe that visual art is more appealing than written language. They incorporate images into their narrative without interrupting its rhythm.

These authors add a visual dimension to their stories by incorporating sketches, photographs, or other graphic elements that provide a richer, multisensory experience for the reader.

When words and images collaborate, it’s like a creative dance that breathes new life into their stories.


The visual writer exemplifies the limitless potential of the arts as a storytelling medium. They take readers to emotionally resonant worlds using vivid language, sophisticated metaphors, and striking visuals.

Their writing is like a picture, full of vivid details that pique interest and spark creativity.

So, let’s raise a glass to the visual storyteller and applaud the extraordinary meeting of art and narrative, where words and pictures weave together to form a spellbinding whole.

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