I've been offered an opportunity to re-illustrate a book for a very, very well-known and prominent author. I was flattered when I learned of her admiration for my work. I'm a big fan of hers, but I'm afraid this is an opportunity I will lose.
Earlier this summer, I submitted a painted character study to her publishers. They loved my sample, but asked that I submit a new sample with older characters. At the time, I was busy trying to meet a dealine. Enkelin was due July 1, so I couldn't invest much more time. I did so anyway, and submited three more painted studies. They liked those too.
Today I received a third request. They'd like for me to show the main character at varying angles and emotions. Normally I wouldn't think twice about meeting such a request. With some books, it comes with the territory. But there's no way I can interrupt Ron, the current picture book I'm illustrating. Absolutely no way. Wish I could.
I must sketch and paint Ron, complete, by the end of this year; it will publish in the fall of 2008, and with all the interruptions summertime has to offer, I'm behind the schedule I set for myself.
Unfortunately, today I had to send a note saying that I couldn't meet their most recent request, which may take me out of the running (there's another illustrator on the table). That was so hard to do. Ug, I'm gonna be sick, I'd love to work with this author.
And what feels even worse is that last week I had to turn away another book offer — educational division of a major publisher. Again, not that I wanted to, but right now, my focus has to be on Ron.
I've reached the point in my career where my full-time gig is getting in the way of my part-time gig. If I were illustrating books full-time, none of this would be a problem. Probably.