I spoke with the art director for Z, a pop-up novelty book, and now I'm feeling much better about it. Quick backstory: Last November, I was contracted to illustrate the book. I provided thumbnail sketches to be used for discussion with a paper engineer. Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Then I asked questions. Then my agent* asked questions. Then my deadline for final art passed in May. Then I waited some more. Then I got real worried. Turns out, the engineer's been sleeping for the past 7 months, so he/she's been put on permanent bed rest. I've been given the official go ahead to create final art — without sketches even! Let's get this done already! or this won't make a fall '07 publish date.
The deadline for final art has been pushed back until late August, which normally would be like performing a magic trick. But there is a ray of hope. I was selected to illustrate this book based upon some car icons I created with licensing in mind. The art is digital, a simple Adobe Illustrator style, and most of the vehicles already exist on my computer. Each page will feature a single vehicle, with very little environment, mostly white space. So, in all honesty, this book will take no time. I'll be careful not to say it too loud, 'cause I don't want to inadvertently make any promises I can't keep. But I do anticipate having this wrapped up in less than two weeks — if that! Now, shhh!
Another not so little tidbit: The art director said, because I was so patient, that if I had any ideas to propose for "gimmicky" novelty books, she'd be willing to pitch it to the powers that be. And my mind is blank.
*Suzanne, my product licensing agent worked up this deal.