Archives for category: Illustration

Is anything purely without influence?

This is my old bunny, Freddy….AND my first character sketch for Just One More. I did a search for first sketches to write a post and this guy popped up. I had forgotten about taking a crack at starting this book 10 years ago! The digital drawing never made it before the eyes of any decision makers. He only went as far as placement in a sample spread and then I closed the book for 7 years before I would revisit Just One More and the idea of becoming a children’s book illustrator, again. What an influence old Fred had on this sketch and I was oblivious at the time. He too, was once all yellow calico to match the insides of his ears but had worn so thin that my daughter thought it was a good idea to give him a new exterior.¬† Nice job, and she was careful to encase his original saggy body, couldn’t bear to cut it off. When I look to Ruby, my final character for the book, she is a conglomeration of my kids and a friend or two. A regular Frankenstein, you might say. 5 1/2 weeks before Ruby meets the world, let’s hope there is something in her for everyone.

PUSH

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More times than not, when concocting new illustrations I inevitably start devising grandiose stories that grow with each stroke. Yes, this is why I love writing and creating, something coming out of nothing. But here’s the clutch, I have perfectly fine stories started already that still need lots of rewriting….some with sketches, some with none at all. This illustration, Robot Baby, was just finished for a SCBWI conference, along with at least 6 others for my portfolio. But, now I have a whole story swirling in my head. I think it’s a pretty good one, so much so, that I did another illustration to this Robot Baby story.. Someday, if it really does come to fruition, that would certainly mean doing these over, errrggg. Doing something twice makes me want to run the other way. I remember when my good pal, Valerie Coursen, was doing her illustrations for Mordant’s Wish and she repainted this bowl of a hundred different(and fancy) buttons, over and over again…jeez, and I thought the first one looked just fine. Patience and Perfection are the pages I need to take out of her book….and looking on the bright side, I can always use my Robot Baby illustrations to pitch the story to my agent and editor. But, first, I do think I should push my other stories to be finished and then move on. So my vote is, Story first, Illustrations second…sometimes, if you can help it.

Final art for Just One More cover...my first children's book. Launch date June 11th, 2014. Published by Viking Children's Books.

This book was a long time in the making! Thanks to a willing agent, the one and only, Mr. Stephen Barr of Writers House and the enthusiastic clan at Viking I now have my first children’s book under physical construction¬†at this very moment. Due out in stores early June 2014.

Launch date June 11th, 2014. Published by Viking Children’s Books.