Well, next month my picture book is coming out and have I been learning a lot about self-publishing lately. I must say there’s more then I ever knew (or expected) to it. It’s been quite a learning experience, including having to redo my art a couple times.
Can anyone tell me why computers decide to randomly loose things?
Yeah, I know it might just be me, but i have to tell you that sometimes I think my computer’s hiding stuff on me.
Anyway. It’s all coming together amid writing, fixing, and twiddling my thumbs while I wait for proofs somehow it’s all getting done.
Well, self publishing my picture book – which comes out later this month (Yay!) – has been an exercise in patience and has stretched my knowledge to the max. I’ll admit there were a couple times I wanted to pull my hair out, but in the end it’s been worth it.
Yes I’m still surprised I feel that way. But then it all comes back to how crazy I am about books. And that makes perfect sense.
So what do you do when you feel down about your writing or illustrating?
Watch this cute song by Sue Fliess — seriously it made my day that much better. (Thanks Sue!)
Then take a moment and watch Nathalie Lussier’s video on feeling like you should give up.
Feeling better? I hoped you would. That’s one of the best parts about the internet all of us who are in the same boat can connect — an knowing there are people working through the same things I am makes me feel a ton better.
By the way. I misspelled illustrating as luustrating and spell check wants to know if I meant strangulating — creepy how a program can guess how you feel when your computer keeps hanging up.
What helps most when you feel like quitting?
Picture from flickr by mintyfresh.
A librarian friend told me people ask her if they can go into the Children’s section. I want to stand up and shout “yes!” What better place to learn neat things, read thrilling tales, or enjoy great illustration?
Some treasures are hiding in the kids section of your library. Tweet it!
Like this picture book.
Cheer up, Mouse! had me at the cuddly animals, honestly who can resist animals smiling? Okay, maybe you, but not me. Besides I wanted to know one thing.
Why was the mouse sad?
By the end of the book that question wasn’t so important. In my opinion the whole message of this book is what we generally do when someone’s unhappy.
“Do what makes me happy and you’ll be happy too!”
I don’t know about you but I’m guilty of that. Yes all the animals mean well, but the story gently leads you to this conclusion:
Helping a friend is not about what I want, but what they NEED. Tweet it!
Big difference. So necessary.
Since I’m still new to the world of illustrating picture books I’ve been picking up several of them when I go into the library. And here are 4 things I gleaned about illustration from this book:
1. Pictures convey everything — Mr. Henry made every picture count, and to tell the truth your could remove the words and still have a great book that makes an awesome point.
2. Use every inch of your character — The animals use every ounce of their body to tell the story. How? By revealing their emotions in the slight change of the eye, the way the ears sit on the head, even the action line through the body.
3. Intelligent backgrounds — I struggle with backgrounds, but this book simplifies the backgrounds in a way that leaves the story perfectly set with just the right amount of white space. Plenty for the eye to see, but not filled to the gills
4. Small Perspective — Each drawing gave me the feel of being the size of the animals in the book, which just made it more fun to read! It drew my attention to how much the perspective plays in a book.
I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for more books by Jed Henry — have any suggestions of ones to try?
For readers — what got you to pick this book up?
For illustrators — what tip would you draw from this book?
If you want a more in depth (*spoiler warning*) review check out this one at Kirkus.
Cheer Up, Mouse! is Written and Illustrated by Jed Henry, and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. The pictures are not mine, and fully belong to the publisher.
The views are my own and unsolicited.
*The Amazon link is an affiliate link.
FYI – this post is just me having fun and challenging myself (I wasn’t hired to do it or anything).
I call this pattern group cupcake. Based on the cupcake liner I drew in the Design-Seeds Cupcake challenge I gave myself.
I liked some of the patterns I was finding while sketching it out, so much I had to make them bigger. On top of that I’ve been watching what people in the Make Art That Sells e-course have been posting. (Like this one from Chicken Girl Designs.)
It looked like so much fun I thought I would challenge myself to make a bolt fabric portfolio piece.
My rules were the whole collection could have up to 8 colors, but only 6 colors per piece. It had to include only the color family I found in the cupcake photo, as well as the patterns I came up with from it. (I had a blast by the way.)
Couldn’t resist sharing the extras! Which do you like best?
What do you think?
Design-Seeds is such a great place of color inspiration.
Sometimes I’m surprised by the combinations, but seeing the images has helped me with seeing color ideas/possibilities. It’s also opened up my willingness to play around.
When I saw this cupcake I thought of a neat challenge (plus a fun way to relax after creating a bunch of images). Try and recreate the item but, here’s the twist:
Only using the colors she pulled out.
Halfway through I thought it wouldn’t work, but in the end I think it turned out cute. I would have chosen darker colors personally, but it was a fun exercise!
What do you think: brighter colors or no black lines?