Monday, May 29, 2006

I Get To Draw A Children’s Book!!

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Thank you SO much for all the warm wishes, karma, prayers and positive energy. I met with the author this morning and not only did she like the drawings, she would like me to do the layout and prepress work for the book too! This means that I don’t have to worry that someone else will radically alter what I draw to match her vision! Yay!

Sleep was SO hard last night. Nick had to keep talking me down and then I woke up at 4 am wide awake after dreams of taking kids with him on a field trip and having to count them over and over again to cross check things on a clipboard. I don’t even want to know any deep hidden meaning in that one! I know that it was just nervous energy. My walking buddy and I did our fastest loop of the 6 km ever this morning and she said keeping up with me was a workout and a half since her inseam is considerably shorter than mine!! I cleaned up, worked on one more drawing and then got everything ready to show the author when she arrived before lunch.

There was one hilarious moment at the beginning of the meeting when I began to walk her through the full size pencil dummy of the book. This is actual size of the final book, but just rough sketches so that you can get an idea of placement, layout and even composition before you measure and create the artwork at anywhere from 150 to 200 percent of the final size. When artwork gets scanned in and reduced, it helps everything tighten up nicely. When you draw actual size, mistakes can really show up... but it’s even worse if you draw things tiny and then enlarge them! The author got this half puzzled, half worried look and asked me if these were the final drawings before I did the colour work! I guess my burst of incredulous laughter was reassuring... but what really made her happy was when I explained the process and then pulled out 4 of the large pencil drawings for the size that I will actually create them!! She loved the detail and the expression on the main child’s face. We still need to define the little brother character to match her vision.

The layout may also change if we do a full 24 pages (6 inner pages of 4 panels each) instead of the 20 pages (5 inner sheets) that she did last time to keep costs reasonable, but that is half of the fun. I am going to concentrate on the cover artwork and the 4 panels that I know will stay the same regardless of which page number they end up on and have those drawings ready for Friday. I also plan to show her the two different mediums we could go with because her desire to use bright colours in this might be easier to achieve with a coloured pencil, marker and ink combo that watercolour and coloured pencil. Far less stretching watercolour paper onto board too!

Wheee! Yippeee! Yahoo!!! Between these illustrations, layout and getting designs ready for Charlotte in August, I am sure that my summer will be very full and satisfying. What feels the most wonderful is knowing that I finally have the chance to chase a dream and that I will hold a book that I illustrated in my hands this fall. How cool is that?

I’m glad I switched the title of the blog a while ago. This will now be an exploration of illustration, needlework and photography as all my projects progress. Welcome to the next adventure in a creative life.

7 comments:

Jasmine Waterfall (Jazz) said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is so exciting! You rock, Jen! :-)

liz said...

Congratulations, that is really good news!

Teresa said...

Way to go, Jen!!! Huge hugs and congratulations!! :-))))

Teresa

Charlie Rosenberger said...

Wonderful news, Jen! Congratulations!

tkdchick said...

Jen that's just wonderful! Your dream is coming true!

It was so nice to talk to you tonight!

Katie said...

Way to go Jen!! That's such awesome news!!

jymisgurl said...

Congratulations! That's great!