The first step is brainstorming an idea for each theme. I do this in my sketchbook with a ball point pen. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head fully formed, such as the ideas for themes #51 and #52 below. This is pretty rare though... Usually I have to come up with lots and lots of bad ideas before I can discover a good one. I draw as fast as possible at this stage, just coming up with as many ideas as possible, without worrying about the quality of the drawings.
"Keeping a Secret" was really giving me a tough time, so I continued my brainstorm onto the next page. Now, I don't think a lot of kids read this blog, but if you are a kid, there are SPOILERS in the next image, so keep that in mind, before you take a closer look!
Once I hone in on the idea I want to use, I usually scribble out a few rough thumbnails to try and figure out the right layout. I was pretty happy with this one, so I moved on to brainstorming the next theme.
Next week we'll take a look at the drawing and inking stages!