Friday, April 3, 2015

They are all absurd notions. That's the only kind of notion I really entertain.



So if step one is to have an idea, and somehow the last step is to get published, then somewhere in there like step 437 or 438, right after draw all the pictures and then Redraw half of the pictures, is make a felt doll of the main character, to include in the proposal.  Is that an absurd notion? Probably. But if it gets this story off of my drawing table (kitchen table) and onto a book shelf at powells or Elliot Bay books someday, than the last fifteen hours of felting will have been worth it. 

Credit where it's due, my little man helped a lot, especially on the leaf cloak, and also climbing the tree to pose him.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Before and After...why is good work never easy?....ugh.

Before



After


I don't even know if it's an improvement but I just have to go back and fix it so it's consistent. Twelve hours later. Seriously can you spot ten differences?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One a day is my new speed. How to live the dream part two.

Two years ago I broke my leg and without work or anything beyond the reach of the couch to distract me for a couple weeks, I got serious about working on my long brewing children's book. 

The stories came from my own childhood and were honed in my adulthood, by retelling them to my kids. So they are very much a part of me and can be hard to let into the world. My huge insecurities come out in spades when entertaining the notion of producing something this big. I'm fine with doodling some space cats or robot sharks for no reason but this is my life's dream here. I have always been working towards one day becoming an illustrator, and despite being light years away from an actual career, this is really the closest I have ever been. 

So, I really did just spill beer all over three pages of this finished work while trying to show it off to the neighbor kid, and through some miracle it totally is beer proof. Thank the gods! 

This is an illustration I finished maybe a year ago, followed by the one I did this afternoon. One great thing about taking this project on is that I have gotten much faster and more confident in my technique ( if you can call it that). I know the steps well enough that I don't have to second guess myself as much. It's just pencil sketch, colored pencil sketch, erase, paint and finish with colored pencil outlines. So what took me maybe two days last year and ended up needing to be touched up and eventually totally scrapped, took me a couple of hours this afternoon. That kind of improvement is even more satisfying than the product. 

Here's the before and after. I chose to redo because the line work and shapes were awkward and also because the characters looked flat and bored, like they couldn't make eye contact. Also I keep looking for ways to sneak fun stuff in, like the squirrel stuffing his face. Yay cookies!!!


Monday, March 30, 2015

How to draw for a living.


This is, no joke, my life's work right here. This story has been told and retold to and by me for three generations now and needs to finally be part of the world's story. This summer I am tracking down publishing leads and finally becoming slightly more than just a middle school math teacher and summer science educator. Dream with me now folks. It has to be possible.