Thursday, January 18, 2007
Picture book milestone!
I finished sketches for my next picture book! It took longer than anticipated, sketching over the holidays with my son out of school. But I'm done and ready for tweaking before sending to my publishers.
This book required 19 illustrations, plus the cover (pictured above), and possibly a couple of spots, but we'll make that determination later. For now, I need to work on some inconsistencies. I couldn't decide how I wanted the grandfather character to look so, for now, he appears different on every page. He sort of evolved as I went along. Now, I'll need to go back and make him consistent throughout.
With this book, my biggest challenge was deciding what exactly to illustrate, with more than 3000 words to choose from. The story is richly told, there's much to portray. Originally, I'd proposed producing this as a 40-page, or even 60-page book, but that was going to hike up the price, so we stayed at 32 pages. Normally when I approach a spread, I try to illustrate the main action, or scene. The essence of the words. But in this case, there's easily two, sometimes three, even four, illustratable (is that a word?) scenes per spread in which to choose from. So, I had to chose the most compelling scene to portray, and one that flowed well with the story as a whole.
When I first began sketching this book, I struggled. I hate to admit that. Last year, I invested a lot of time in trying to develop my writing skills. That meant writing every day, sacrificing valuable drawing and painting time. I had plenty of illustration work, but two books had been put on hold. In the meantime, I did smaller quick-hitting projects (though better paying), and I wrote. So when I started this book at the end of last year, I felt kind rusty and I didn't loosen up until almost half way through. Now I'll have to tweak some pages and completely re-sketch others before I send them to the publisher.
What to do next? My schedule is full between now and the end of the month. The final set of revisions, and final art for ZOOM, a pop-up book, is due to the publisher February 2. Final art for the cover of my tweener calendar, My Peepz 2008, is due at the end of the month. I need to prepare art for display at the San Antonio Children's museum. I'm the featured artist for February. Also, more textile designs have been requested by the end of the month to expand my line. Then, I need to do some character studies for RON, a book to publish in late 2008. But probably not until next month. Huh!