Thursday, April 20, 2017

Drawings Complete; Meeting Summary

I've collected my thoughts about the meeting we had Wednesday night and I'll summarize them the best I can.  We almost didn't have the meeting. Keith wasn't able to make it but we went ahead as we mostly have details to work on and Keith doesn't have much to manage or direct at this step in our process.
The three of us (Chad, Steven and I) had a relaxed and playful chat as we caught up while kicking back in Chad's backyard work studio. I haven't seen these fellows since last year and it was excellent to have some laughs with them over some brews.
After settling in, I shared a few bullet points from the notes I brought. I related that I had signed up for a membership with the Seattle branch of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators or SCBWI, a great organization that supports and builds community in it's eighty-some chapters around the world. Also, I shared that I put a large part of my tax return aside for getting this book out there. That means everything from getting a website up, to getting an agent for our team, to doing a short run printing. Lastly, I let them know that there is a SCBWI event at the UW Bookstore on May 9th called Inside Story where previously published members get to share new works in 2-3 minute presentations. I'm definitely interested and the other guys seemed interested after learning of it.

And the rest of the meeting...well, I shared the new pages that I have drawn. Now we have begun to see what the book will look like. I put all my pages in a pdf document with the lines of story text on the appropriate pages. After we all three ran through it together we saw some changes that should be made in those pairings, how it's broken up, so we have a better flow. Also, there are 4 more drawings I need to do; two for the sister character, a transition image for Dash and Scout, and a close-up image of Dash thinking about the case. With those completed, and everyone happy with the text to image pairings, I will commence to coloring. That should be fun! Coloring just feels like messing around and learning at the same time.

It was a good meeting, I felt more sober and grounded about my work that I was presenting and the work that lay ahead. Sober and grounded may not sound very exciting but it is much more sustainable if you keep enough determination to keep going.  Yay for balance!

Thanks for reading this far! [END OF POST]

Here is a sketch of one of the new pages I'm working on:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Drawings Complete; Looking at the Book

I'm writing the first part of this 2 part entry the night before a meeting with the rest of the "Toddler Guys". This meeting has been arranged to show them my work thus far which is all the drawings for all the pages. This is a bit relative as we are still editing and drawings can change; might need different, more, or possibly less drawings. This feels quite momentous though. We began this book so many years ago and it has gone though rough drawings and different styles. For gods-sake, I have my own toddler now!

As slowly as this project has gone, it was always close to my heart and something I was very excited about when I thought about. I wish that I could have gone quicker but I have to believe it will gain something that it may have lacked if I had. Certainly, I have gained skill in the interim. Also, I have increased and deepened my influences. Most importantly, I have gained more confidence and clarity in my style.

Well... It's not done yet. And I feel fairly certain that some important changes are forthcoming in the illustrations. I want this book to be magical and amazing. I want it to be a work of art with cinematic qualities. A Hitchcock film in a storybook. To achieve this, I must follow my artistic instincts even if it means some pages need to be redrawn and finishing postponed.

After the drawing are nailed down, I begin the coloring process. I have made a decision to work in Photoshop with watercolor brushes I bought from . With a little practice (basically diving in) I think they will do the trick in giving me the look I want and allowing quick iterations so I can figure out the best color scheme and palette for my drawings.

I'm very excited for the meeting and imagine it will be a bit of a celebration!

Rough sketch of image on last page