When the idea for a story pops into my mind, the first thing I do is sketch the characters. It helps me write about them if I have some visual images to refer to. I've been playing around with a story about a bird and the cat who comes into his life. This was an early sketch, however I later changed the cat so she is now quite plump! It suits her personality and what happens in the story - but I didn't know that until I started writing. That's the process, the writing and visuals feed off each other and I keep changing both until I reach a balance. A picture book is ideal when there is not a single unnecessary word, and the illustrations reveal everything that was not written.