This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Split page: take two!

I have decided to re work the split page that I had worked on previously. The previous pages are pretty and the colors are ideal, but balance was not resonating with me. I need more from it. I want my illustrations to bring a sense of happiness and whimsy when they thumb through the pictures. I want parents to come back to this book for night time reading. So, back to the sketching stage I go. I have been sketching a little here and there. Inspiration has been a little slow lately. So, I finally started putting down a discernible sketch of Andy, Lilly, and Benny. Here are some stages as I prepare this new set of art for the end of my book. I feel that a split page in full illustration should be a must for the picture book dummy. It is a great example of what the art for the entire book will be in full illustration. So, here I go. Onward to my ideal split page!!!!
Still aspiring and my dreams are huge!!!!

let's make it a bit more balanced!

first page is a go for color and song lyrics!
song lyrics added and second page is beginning to take form!
starting to apply color. First layer.

adding some depth to the characters and background.

Monday, May 20, 2013

And then there was weather, humidity, and spring cleaning.

The weather is as unpredictable as my inspiration. We are currently on tornado watch in Missouri. The storm clouds dull the sun's light and the humidity thrives within the heat. My husband and I are tackling the spring cleaning and clearing the muck from within. It amazes me how paper can collect in that mess drawer I try so hard to avoid. Currently, I am cleaning my office. I have a few paint spots on my desk from previous artistic pursuits. My sketching pencil grows shorter and shorter with every sharpening. My eraser is sticky and pliable. The sketches and illustrations are littered about the shelves and desk.
It is time to put the sketch book away for today. what an odd feeling. This book has become a part of me. It is a representation of thought and dreams manifested into illustrations and rough drawings depicting scenes from a story I yearn to share.
 Have you ever wanted something so much that the want burns in your heart? My aspirations yell for recognition. A desire to accomplish this task consumes me. My downtime is consumed with thoughts, phrases, and stories to tell. I am a visual person and see a story in my mind. The colors allow me to convey what is a vivid representation of my thoughts. I aspire to share my stories. I aspire to get them out there to share with many.  With high aspirations, work to achieve these dreams must accompany it in more than thought. Due diligence must be paid.I pay this debt to the art of story writing and illustration by taking time to make all of these thoughts and dreams visible on paper. I attend a critique group to learn from those who have aspired longer that I have. My work is a piece of me. It is imperfect, for art is subjective. It is your audience that you must entertain. My audience is the 3-7 year olds.  Each illustration must be submitted to the harshest critiques; my children. I ask them to tell me what is happening in my picture. If they can describe the message I am trying to convey, then my task has been completed accurately.  I am an aspiring children's book author and illustrator with a story. I actually have a couple to share, but first this one. This week, I will be refining my work and hope to send it to my copy editor of awesome for some wisdom and assessment. That is the goal and the road I chose to follow. As Andy is perfected, Abernathy has started to develop. It will be a young adult book about earth healers. But first, Andy needs his adventure!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The curse of the perfectionist.

Yes, I have that curse. I write, rewrite, write some more. I just sent out the new revision of my Andy story with several rewrites. My characters are different from the original. I do hope to bring back my red fish, Claire, in another Andy story. I recently finished a double page illustration that took hours to finish. It also includes a small song that I wrote. After finally completing this illustration, my first impulse was to throw it all away. I know, silly. But seriously, haven't you ever looked at something you finished and think how you could make it better if you did this and that...Yeah. Well, for now, I will leave it alone. I am going to put a pic of the double page in this entry for y'all. Please forgive its crudeness as I am using my phone to capture it.

I have emailed my fabulous critique group my newest and latest manuscript. The good news is that it is under 400 words. That is important in my genre focus. I think it would be considered an easy reader, but will have to do a little more research. I am very proud of it. Pending the outcome of my critique group and the super hero, I think it will be time to get this out and query the agents again. I currently have 7 completed illustrations and the rest sketched out in a rough dummy. I still have a couple of months before I find anything out about that much needed award and grant. I have a 10 year old computer that doesn't handle photoshop and a serious lack of printer/ scanner. I need to update my technology. When I hear back from the ladies, I will write about that outcome and post some pictures! Thank you, for following!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Staying positive.

The illustrator in me wants to draw and paint . I find comfort in the completion of these. Layers of colors develop into something dream worthy. It provides my imagination with an outlet to convey the beauty that I see in my mind's eye. I feel truly blessed to be able to communicate by the medium of color. Stories of words can be beautifully expressed through the magic of the written word, but it is a truly rewarding to see the colors I create develop into something that can communicate a story and wonder within themselves.
The author within me wants to write. I want to write stories. Tying myself to one story is difficult. So many inspirations stir in my mind. I want to write about my ant, about my Krumpies that encourage us to treat our Earth with love, and Abernathy. For now, my ant, lady bug, and bee keep me busy.
Prioritizing is difficult. I continue to work on Andy and hope that sometime soon he will receive some love from someone. I am still an un-agented writer/ illustrator without a book deal. I am aspiring a dream that is worth working towards. It isn't an easy dream. I write for an unknown audience. Hopefully someone will know someone and see potential. Opportunity knocks at odd times. We just have to listen. Well, I am listening for it. Please knock...Please!
A new page in the works below. It is a continuation from yesterday's page.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


It is funny how art can take shape. I am writing a song and melody for my book. I want it to be something easy that a kid could play on the recorder or punch out on a piano or a piano app. In honor of May Day, I am adding wild flowers to this illustration. My favorite is the cone flowers. So, I am adding some right now. Tomorrow, I will add pictures of my progress of this illustration. I have high expectations for my illustrations. Good ole water color and pastels work for me. I love detail. It adds depth and charm. Do you remember the days of books with illustrations that were very elaborate? My favorite were the serendipity books. I could look at those illustrations for days!
If I would have to pick an artistic inspiration, these would be them. Did you have a favorite when you were growing up?