Holiday Employment

I don’t want to complain about working during the Christmas/Whatever holiday again – it’s great to be employed when you’re a full-time often-starving artist. I was hired to write four books for Rourke in October (with the usual fast deadline) and then learned that I had a crack at illustrating them, too. If you read this blog, you know I wrote eight books for them last fall and was hired to illustrate six. 100% this time? Maybe. The problem is, the main characters in all but one story are…..PEOPLE. I had no choice, otherwise they’d all be animals, which I do love more than I love most people, as Jeep knows. I love all four stories, but we’ll see if I can illustrate them all…

It has been a goal for a while to figure out how to create people, mostly kids, that I like more than my old style. My old style seemed a little old fashioned and it was hard to break free of it, even by switching to collage. So finally, a chance to get on with it. I was also hired to write some leveled readers so had time to let the stories stew before I actually began on the illustrations.

Here’s a sketch for one of the covers: two known characters that I had to make my own, and one kid. Just one. Inside, if I get the job, I’ll be drawing lots and lots of people. At least in this book, they will be very small compared to our heroes. And there is an Ox. That’s all I can tell you at this point…

This is just a sketch that has gone from a rough drawing that was scanned and then traced in Illustrator using a Wacom tablet. Now I’m messing around with hand-painted patterns for some of the color, not that computer generated stuff that looks like wrapping paper or shower curtains. Adding the hand-done color bits seems to make the digital art look more organic. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll share. All four sketches were approved, and covers are due by December 31, of this year.

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