Wednesday, January 12, 2011

30 Lessons Learned, #14: When in Doubt, Make a List

Buglette is the first picture book project I've done. As I began to work on sketches, the magnitude of the work became apparent. 32 pages of images. Plus a cover! ALL of the images would have to be consistent in color and line weight. The first image and the last image (created 4 months apart) would need to feel the same. The characters would need to be depicted consistently throughout. Moreover, the color schemes from spread to spread would need variation and an appropriate rhythm. The design of the pages would need rhythm. All of the advice I had read about picture books and heard about picture book illustration in school was flooding into my head. And while it made perfect sense in the abstract, it was somewhat overwhelming in reality. Where to begin? My mind raced. So, as is the case with most things in life that I want to wrangle under my control, I made a list:
1. Rough sketches
2. Plaster my kitchen wall with rough sketches at actual trim size
3. Look at the pacing
4. Adjust pacing as necessary
5. Submit for approval
6. Revisions
7. After approval, refine rough sketches at actual trim size
8. Create color palettes for each spread
9. Look at the color palettes in order and adjust as necessary
10. Make a calendar showing how many images need to be finished per week. (Begin losing hair and eating more ice cream as a result.)

That got me through the first book. If anyone would like to share tips as to how one might accomplish the task with more hair intact, please let me know your secrets. :)


Jane said...

You are a girl after my own heart Bethanie, I L*O*V*E lists,infact I wrote a whole blog post on lists last year-LOL. Without being obsessive I just think that a list can simplify a task and focuses our attention into comfortable bit size portions...otherwise sometimes things are just overwhelming. My hubbie has even made a list for redecorating the dining room. Also there is nothing quite as satisfying as ticking something off it...:0)
Jane x

Sally said...

I too love lists -- in fact I have a list for my lists :)

Jill Bergman said...

Excellent list!
About the hair problem.... maybe you could work while wearing a swim cap or some other protective headwear!! :)

Bethanie Murguia said...

I'm glad to hear from the other list lovers out there. And yes, I'll have to find a unique hat or headgear -- mostly to surprise the neighbors who have a view right into my "studio" window. Hee.