Ahoy hoy. Sorry I’ve been away…UNICORN update!

Illustrating Books
God asks where his unicorns are.

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Hello all, it’s been a while, and for that I do apologize.  I got a bit caught up in some other projects, and let the unicorns idle for a bit.  Well, here is the newest installment, and I’m hard at work on finishing up the rest so I can just schedule them for posts.  The next step is to pick the strongest and fully illustrate in color, as publishers like to get a taste of what the illustrations will look like in their final garb.

Noah proceeds with the plan from God

Illustrating Books
uni-spread8-9

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The saga continues…

A note on character design: designing God was a challenge.  I didn’t want to create a bearded man in the sky.  There is a part of the Old Testament where God is described as a column of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day.  I like the clouds idea, and the giant arms in the sky make me smile.

Noah’s doubters and God’s plan

Illustrating Books
uni-spread6-7

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A note on the type: in these dummies, I believe that it’s good to not get fancy or cute with your choice of type.  So I have chosen to use Century Schoolbook.  It’s a personal preference.  Some people tend towards Comic Sans, but that’s against my religion as a Designistrator. 😉  I am thinking I may have to redraw the left hand page, as my Noahs look a little different from the first page to the second.  One of the most important thing about illustrating a book is that the character design remains consistent from page to page.

I realize that I said I would post on Tuesday/Thursday, but life happens–perhaps it’s safer to say I will post twice a week!

As usual, feel free to leave questions, comments or words of insight in the comments section below.  Have a great weekend!

The Unicorn Legend and Noah

Illustrating Books
uni4-5spreadWP

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Here is the first spread of the book my friend Jess has written.  (So, to be clear, this is two pages I combined in Photoshop.)

I thought I would try to post a spread every Tuesday and Thursday. (And perhaps more on weeks where I am feeling particularly expansive.) This will be a long way to lay out a book, but I enjoy sharing this process with you, friends.  Any comments or questions are, as usual, appreciated.

 Spoiler alert: there will be unicorns.

How to create a dummy book for children’s publishing

Business of Art, Illustrating Books

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Hello, dear viewers.  It has been a while since I’ve posted, and for that, I do apologize.  I’ve had a new idea for a series of posts, which I hope you will enjoy.  A couple of (gulp) years ago, my dear friend Jess presented me with a children’s story she had written and asked me if I would illustrate it.  Now, people ask this of me once they find out I am an illustrator, and usually I tell them it is easier to get published by simply sending a manuscript out with a great cover letter to publishers.  (i.e. Illustrations are not necessary to the children’s story submissions process, unless of course, you are an author/illustrator.)

The reason I tell them this is that usually publishers like to pair their illustrators and writers.  If you send a manuscript with a sheaf of drawings, you will most likely be chucked into the dreaded “slush pile.”  However, if you take the time and effort to create a dummy book, you may luck out and get your book picked up by a publisher. I love my friend Jess, and because her story is really great, I said “yes” to creating a dummy with her.  She sweetly said for me to take my time and design it how I wanted.  

Oh Jess, you may have wanted to set up deadlines with me—unlimited time means I take a looong time.  Anyway, she has agreed that I can share the process here on the blog if it helps me finish the dummy book.  Today I have a picture of some storyboards I created in the beginning to get the flow of the story just right, along with an actual book I created to craft how the pictures would fit with the type.

For reference on how to create a dummy book I highly recommend Uri Shulevitz’s Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books.  Published in 1985, it is still the greatest resource I have found on creating a book for submission from start to finish.

I love questions and comments!  Fell free to leave feedback or queries in the comments section of this post, if you feel so inclined.

An old, handmade Sketchbook

Sketchbook

The other day I decided to go through my collection of old, filled up sketchbooks to mine for ideas.  I forgot that I made this one back in 2008 (?) but I really like it.  Some of the entries made me laugh out loud, because I crack myself up.  The book itself is made from recycled materials:  a scrap of wallpaper from my grandparent’s house, cardboard, some of the pages have been Xeroxed on one side (which means I salvaged it from the office recycle bin), and the binding is dental floss (not used) and tabs made of paper grocery bag.  How Earth-friendly can you get??  The fantastic old picture is from a stack that my teacher, Larry gave me when I was in grad school.

I am also including one of the spreads I found inside; next week I promise to have some new drawings.  I’ve been a bit under the gun this week, and with late meetings, my poor blog and art got neglected.

sketchbook

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tallDude

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