Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I want to be a Children's Book Illustrator!

I am sorry I haven't posted in a while, life got crazy with family visiting and sick kids, but I am so excited to share an amazing experience I had with you! I was visiting with a friend and she shared the amazing news that she signed a contract with a publisher to have some children's books published. I was so happy for her! Immediately my wheels started turning. She read us the book and showed us a few pictures. I was feeling so inspired. As she read the words, I could picture the illustrations in my head. I really wanted to try sketching the story, just for practice. She sent me the story and I did a little sketch, just for fun. 

Later she called me and said her illustrator fell through and she would love if I would do some sketches for her. I was excited for the challenge and really scared too. I'm sure you've seen people post about their word for the year. Well my word for this year is fearless! (more to come on my word later!!) This experience was a great example for me of overcoming my fears and doubts and just going for it. When I had some time to sketch I felt a little overwhelmed, and the doubts started to come. Who was I to think I could do children's illustrations? I had never done anything like this before. I just told myself to be fearless and went into my room with my sketch book and an hour later I had the cutest little cowboy you ever did see. 

I love him. I also had to give him a little side kick. I though it would be cute to have the frog on every page doing cute things in the background.  Me and my girls love reading books with things like that. I started with a dog, but it just wasn't working, so then I had the idea of doing this frog and I loved it. I loved the idea that it could be a frog he found outside and stuck in his pocket. After completely my cowboy I felt like I had accomplished so much. Then I wanted to make sure I could create the pictures for the rest of the book, so I started sketching the whole story. I wanted to see if I could create the movement and character I envisioned. I was so happy with the results. 

Here is his cute little cowboy boots. 

His mom and little sister. 

Going for a ride. 

Whirling his lasso. 

The next step was to add color and complete a few pages. I used a mix of watercolor, acrylic paint and oil pastels. 

Here's my little cowboy

his side kick. 

His hat shading his eyes from the sun. 

I also did a page for another story about a little girl playing in the rain

Rain, rain go away, come again another day... 

Pink heart rain boots and flowers in her hand. 

My friend submitted the illustrations to her publisher and they choose someone else to illustrate the book. I was sad that I didn't get to work with her on these books, because I really liked them. I also had so much fun with this process. Sometimes you try and fail... and that's ok. I have always loved children's books and I have so many illustrators that I love and admire. I am so grateful for this experience. I don't think I ever would have had the guts to try illustrations on my own, or maybe not for a while. Now I've had a taste of doing illustrations and I loved it. 

I would love to be a children's book illustrator! 

I am grateful for this experience. 

The Cowboy and Girl in the Rain. 

Sometimes you try and fail and then you try and try and try again. 

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