Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Lessons Learned, #25: Don't Forget to Have Fun (Rubber Stamps!)

This is a fun and frivolous little post about rubber stamps. Not long after I finished the art for the book, I decided that Buglette rubber stamps would be lots of fun. So, I did some line drawings and had these two stamps made.

And, indeed, they are fun (although clearly I need to work on my stamping skillz). It's taking lots of self-restraint not to stamp everything in sight. I'm hoping the kids at my readings will enjoy them as much as I have! (Today I even sent away for a few more.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

30 Lessons Learned, #24: The Cover May Paralyze You

Before I get into this week's post, I want to let folks know that you can enter to win a copy of Buglette at Goodreads. As well, there will be fun giveaways happening here on the blog in the coming weeks. Stay tuned! :)

I tried a few sketch directions and everyone gravitated toward one image fairly quickly. After a few small revisions, the sketch was approved. (Whew, one hurdle down!) The cover image was straightforward -- it was not a huge challenge for me technically. But, I found it very difficult to actually do the cover. It had to be perfect. It was the cover after all. Paralysis set in and lasted for a while. And then, multiple rounds with the tiniest variations began. Thank goodness for deadlines or I might still be working on it.

Now that it is done, I am happy. I like the simplicity and color combinations. I also enjoyed doing the lettering.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Illustration Friday: Cultivate

It was sooooo frustrating for my 7-year old self that my new little brother couldn't walk OR talk OR follow instructions when he was born. I came up with all kinds of plots (not this one exactly) to make him grow faster.

I've been missing my IF buddies! I'm in the middle of a big old deadline, but I hope to get back to IF more regularly in a month or so.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

30 Lessons Learned, #23: Book Trailers are Fun (if you don't have to do the work)

It seems that book trailers are all the rage these days so I wanted to make one. Or, I should say, I enlisted my talented family to make one. I just did a simple storyboard. Then my husband did the editing and animation (lucky me) and my brother, a composer, did the music (lucky me). It was a very fun collaborative project.

You can view it here:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

30 Lessons Learned, #22: It's More Than Just 32 Pages

I'm realizing that there's plenty more to be done once the book is finished, i.e. marketing and promotion. I used to work as a designer in a marketing agency and thus, I like to think about tie-ins and promo pieces. This is a mock up of one of the pieces I proposed: a door hanger. It seems like a perfect tie-in for little dreamers. My publisher has been wonderfully receptive to ideas (yay!) and they are producing door hangers, stickers and postcards.

As an aside, two lovely pre-spring surprises arrived at my house this past week. One: my advance copy of Buglette! Having my own book in the house is a bit surreal. I smile every time I walk by it. And two: beautiful flowers from my friend that perfectly match the cover of the book. I had to take a photo...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

30 Lessons Learned, #21: Swatches are a Girl's Best Friend

I have a drawer full of watercolor swatches. These are palettes that I've used for previous paintings and/or just colors that I've mixed together and like. The colors in each swatch are noted in abbreviations because I tend to forget what I've used. These swatches are a great starting point for paintings. When I'm first considering the mood of an illustration, I'll often empty this drawer in front of me and start picking through for colors and combinations that give the right feel. Also, because this particular project is multi-page, it helped me to hang swatches/color palettes with the sketches (all over my walls) so I could see how the various color palettes work together.

A quick side note: I was the winner of a fabulous onesie from Joy Nevada's Etsy shop. Her illustrations are whimsical and suited perfectly to apparel for little ones. Thank you, Nevada!