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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Walking, stumbling, and persevering...

Last night, I did a lot of research on making a killer promo illustrator card. A friend of mine who sorts through promo cards on a daily basis has been very kind to offer guidance with the layout. My appreciations for his responses and input goes without saying.
When I sit down to draw, I feel like I am paying homage to my grandfather. He was an illustrator/artist and worked for Disney way back when. He lost both of his hands in WW2; a sacrifice to our country and lives saved during Hitler's massacre and genocide. When I was around 10 years of age, he taught me how to paint by number with his two metal hands; cold and metallic cranes that extended to each elbow bilaterally. I was never one to follow the numbers. He praised my creative choices and encouraged different mediums on which to practice my paintings.. My gramps had several faults, but art was never one of them. If a man with two metal hands could create images that influenced generations, then limitations of the mind are weak obstacles of a focused heart. Perseverance and strength of passion are keys to success. I wish I could share what I have created with the man who encouraged me to use a paint brush so long ago. He was a brief influence in my life, but his kindness of soul lives through every paint stroke. I feel the warmth of his love as I begin to create and sketch. It is his voice that encourages me to continue when I am ready to scrap a piece because it is not perfect or a paint stroke is off just a bit. Art is not perfection. It is a subjective voice: a liberal translation of a vision dancing about my mind. Like every path in life, one must walk ahead using one step at a time.  Even Dorothy had to face her fears on the yellow brick road.  Sometimes we fall. Sometimes we stumble over tiny stones along the way. It is all about standing up and rethinking your footing. My journey is not a solo walk. I have embraced those in my life. I don't believe in chance meetings. Those who have crossed paths with mine have contributed to my yellow brick road full of  aspiring children's book author and illustrator dreams.  They walk with me offering courage, the ability to stand tall and face my fears, and the common sense to listen to myself. I began my journey with author aspirations and have found my journey to lead to illustrating ambitions.
Still aspiring and creating.
C Dunbridge, aspiring children's book author and illustrator

Monday, June 17, 2013

too busy to be inspired...

That seems to be my theme lately. On a personal level, I have experienced a flood of change and challenges in the last month. So much so, that keeping up with my aspirations have proven to be more of a challenge than normal.  I have finally finished a page that didn't always feel right. Sometimes my illustrations just flow from beginning to end.  This one did not.I had some struggles and considered scrapping it a couple of times and starting over. What I found is that when I finish what I start, I am usually pleased with the product. If I am not pleased, I now have the knowledge to make it better. Here is the final product. It is meant to be a finale page to the end of my book. It might be a nice piece for my promo card.
my finale page...

Now that I have finished that page, I am trying to sketch some pages for my dummy. Here is the product of my latest below! It has come a long way since I first started my attempt at illustrating. I really enjoy it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oh, this journey is a tiring one.

As I finalize my story and edits, I realize that this journey isn't a lonely walk on a path of solitude. So many friends and family have helped me on my way. People ask what my next step will be. Well, as an aspiring author/ illustrator. Every step taken flows in a forward and backward motion allowing for lessons to be learned and rewards to be gained. I have experienced them in all their glory. I have been on this journey for over a year. The story manifested, written, and illustrated over 6 years ago. I have submitted the original which is a lot different than the current story, but the concept and message is the same. I have learned how not to use a narrative voice in children's books. During my struggles in querying an agent, I discovered that I could illustrate. I have never had an art class. I am not going to lie, it is talent and listening to feedback from others. My poor husband humors me when I show him a new illustration or character I have made. He will occasionally read something that I have written. He is not enamored by my work and his praises are few, but he humors me in my pursuits to become a published and agented author/ illustrator in the children's picture book genre.
Since practice makes perfect, that is exactly what I do. I write and rewrite. I have ideas to follow this book. Small vignettes are written on little pieces of paper, miscellaneous word documents, and on my dry erase board to help me remember them after this project is completed.
As I stated previously, this journey requires a lot of knowledge. The book industry isn't as straight forward as one may think. I don't wish to self publish. I want to go about this the way successful books are supposed to go. Query and agent and have an agent find a publisher for your book. Well, sometimes opportunities present themselves a bit backwards. As a member of SCBWI, I received an open submission invitation for members to a very well known publisher. It just happens to be exactly where I want my book to go. Submission for manuscript is pretty straight forward, but the illustrator part is a bit more complex. Luckily, a friend of my mother's is a published illustrator and was kind enough to answer a lot of my questions. SCBWI Missouri illustrator coordinator also responded to my questions with ton of resources. Moral of the story is not to reinvent the wheel, but learn from others. I humble enough to know that I don't know everything. Heck, I know pretty little. I can write. I can draw and paint. I am very creative and my love for the children genre is evident in my work. So, as this journey continues, I have a direction and another goal to achieve. I am going to submit my work to the publisher. Afterwards, if the news is good, I plan on finding an agent that will represent me. It is a bit backwards, but the goal is the same. I have a feeling that it would be far easier to find an agent if you have a pending book deal. :) ...
Just as I did during my grant/ award submission, I will take you along as I prepare the needed documents for submission! Thank you for joining me on this journey....
As always, still aspiring,
Aspiring children's book author and illustrator- Cassaundra Dunbridge

Sunday, June 2, 2013


New news soon! I promise. It has been a bit busy for me lately. The homestead has been experiencing an influx of activities that have made blogging a bit tedious. I am currently working on a post that I can't wait to share! It will be up soon. For now, check out my FB page!!!