With my next book, I'd really like to try something different, you know, experiment with a different style.
Early on in my career, I was told by art directors, editors and art agents that children's book illustrators are supposed to develop a marketable "signature style" and stick with it. But I'd get bored using the same exact style, book after book after book. Heck, I change my hair every six months. So, with each book (trade), I use a slightly different approach.
My art director for Ron has requested the same style used for Black All Around!, but she's asked that I reconsider how I draw my characters facial features, particularly the eyes. Don't ask me why, but I draw my characters with tiny little eyes spread far apart. Some people really like that, some people really don't. But I absolutely love my character's faces. The style is odd, yes, but it's uniquely me.
Since my art director has opened the door to change, I took it a step further and experimented with something totally different. I submitted the above character study this morning. My editor said, "He's certainly cute." I don't know, though, I may return to something closer to my norm. Maybe I shouldn't experiment to this degree on a live project.
This weekend, I'm going to spend some time seeing how consistently I can draw this character in different situations.