I know, I know, it is really late in the day and I should have posted much sooner. But wait until you hear about what I spent my day doing (then you might forgive my flakeyness). Since it is summertime, my good pal Kristin Swartfager is out of school (she works at a preschool), at which point she switches hats from teaching young-ins to illustrating and arting up the place.
I knew you would be. Here is a taste:
Yup. It’s a ball of yarn. This is one of many adorably irresistible images that will appear in our first collaboration, Timmy Tommy Tum. It is a picture book with a rhyming story about a human-like kitten who refuses to go to sleep. Yes, it is for children.
The reason (and my excuse) for being so un-bloggy today is because Kristin and I spent the day refining our work. You will see the results of our cooperation very soon. Until then, bask in the cuteness of the characters she drew to represent us in all of the books (yes, there will be several more to come) we do together specifically for kids.
In other news, my webpage got an update. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here: authoralsant.com
I will give you updates as our happy partnership produces more awesomeness. Until then, Happy reading!
Lately I am searching the web to find project ideas, as well as coming up with some original plans to bring my Gnome garden to life. I have taken some creative licence with my version of gnomes. I decided that they are more like an american version of leprechauns, and are the size of fairies. This means that the little gnomes I create will be approximately 5-6 inches tall. Part of this decision was made because I like the idea of humans seeming gargantuan compared to them, and because this conveniently puts them at a scale to use dollhouse items. It also makes the idea of them riding on rabbits seem more plausible- a foot tall fairy would be to heavy for a rabbit, I would think.
On this note, I have fallen in love with Pintrest. I have found a wealth of ideas for my pictures by searching for fairy gardens. I am endlessly impressed with people’s DIY ideas. Here is a picture of some of the supplies I have already purchased for my project. It is in no way a complete inventory, but it gives you an idea of where I am going with it. (and why I am so distracted lately by all the possibilities)
In addition to what is pictured here, I have tons of polymer clay, felt fabric to make the gnome clothes, a flurry of Popsicle sticks, and various other mediums to make items I didn’t buy (such as plates and tiny gnome doors).
There are a few things I need that I lack the funds for, which is partially where my Kickstarter project comes in (the other part is the actual publication). For example, I need realistic looking stuffed rabbits- which I have found online, but tend to be a tad expensive. If I knew how to make them myself I would be all over it; however, I am well aware of my limitations, and that is where my skills are lacking.
In the interest of showing you what I can do with these pictures once they are completed, I have a few samples below. Keep in mind I have not come to a firm decision on how the final project will look, but I promised you updates, and I shall not disappoint.
As always, I would love to know your opinions. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.
*Please note that these images are my intellectual property. I do not give anyone the right to use or copy them without written permission from me.
I spoke with a representative of Archway publishing in order to understand how to proceed with my children’s storybook. I made a firm decision about doing my own artwork, and have been stockpiling supplies to create the scenes for each page.
Originally I thought to aim for a Christmas publication, but the publishers deadline for this is September first. I could probably finish by then, but I don’t want to rush the project. It is my first attempt at this style of artwork, and I don’t want to add the stress of a short deadline; so I am instead aiming at an Easter publication. This will work out just fine, since there are rabbits in my story, and I will be sure the quality of the work is the best it can be.
This leads me into my next dilemma; I like the idea of going through a major publisher with a package that includes marketing, an ISBN number, and taking care of the copyright, not to mention publishing on 12 different platforms. But the package that suits my needs best is about $5,000. That is a lot of money to me. I don’t exactly have that lying around in my couch cushions. My husband suggested a program called Kickstarter- I’m sure you’ve heard of the potato salad guy. If that guy can get funding, who wouldn’t an adorable children’s book get funding? The publishing representative said that about half of the authors who try to get funded this way are successful. I figure I don’t have anything to lose in trying, so I will keep you posted on that. I’m working on getting a profile together to launch my Kickstarter project, as well as working on proof of my concept. I assume people won’t invest in something if they don’t know I can do it. As soon as that goes live I will provide a link.
Wish me luck, and let me know what projects you have going on. I’m always excited to encourage fellow writers/artists.
So I have just completed a children’s story that I intend to self-publish. It began as a rather long, fun poem, but with encouragement from my writers group it evolved into a full story. I’m nearly done with the editing (as much as a writer ever can be anyway) and my next step it the artwork to go along with my story.
But the writing is only half of a children’s book. Kids love pictures that tell the story, so I needed to figure out what kind of illustration I wanted. Upon some further research I found that you can hire an artist and pay them per illustration- the going rate seems to be about $100 to $200 per drawing online, or you can team up with an artist and split credit (and profit) from the book down the middle. I do know a few artists that would be amazing at it, but since graphic art is something I like to do (and have done professionally before), I decided I am going to do the artwork myself. I plan to make little figurines out of Sculpey and Fimo clay and pose them in scenes to take pictures, then turn them into something that looks illustrated in Photoshop. I will be sure to share more with you as my illustration adventure develops.
My father-in-law has a friend who has published a children’s story, so when I told him I wanted to publish he helped me get in touch with his writer friend. His friend told me that publishers want you to have everything done and mapped out before you even contact them, so I will be finishing my artwork before I take any efforts to publish further. The advice that he gave as far as marketing and publishing boiled down to this: Do as much of it yourself as possible. The publishers will be happy to do it for you, but their help requires lots of money. He also said they are impatient; any edits and adjustments are expected the same day they ask for them, and they get irritated if you delay. They also don’t really proof anything-if your work isn’t perfect when you hand it to them, then that is what will go into print.
With all this in mind, I am very nervous about my first independent self-published work. Even so, I am not deterred.