book projects

Book Process (Part 2)

Oh my gosh working on the final stages of my books drove me crazy. There was this battle inside of me. 

I keep editing because well, I don’t want to publish a book with a misspelled word. On the other hand,  I stall when I’m on to SOMETHING. I do this all the time. Only these days I recognize this resistance as lizard brain. 

I will never forget the day I thought I was done and IT FELT GOOD. What do I do? I delete the file I’m working on. I I actually published my first book with highlights. Yikes! Thank goodness it was an easy fixable e-book. Imagine if this edition had gone to print. 

There’s so much involved in working on a chapter book. I need to find a new program to help me put together the book layout. Word is terrible. I would edit a picture and the whole layout would shift. 

The best part is I completed my goal. All three books are done. I realize more than ever that I don’t need to draw or paint like my favorite artists. The world already has them. I can make mistakes. 

I have lots of designs that I sketched years ago. It’s only after these books that I can share them. I’ll never make that mistake again. 

What a roller coaster ride…

 there are no impossibilities 

book projects

How do you get better?

Some OG art…gosh I need to paint this. 

People always ask this question, expecting a magical answer. They expect a cookie cutter plan. The truth is simple. Show up. Show up in every sense of the word and PLAY.

Nothing more than writing three books has helped me understand this.  That’s it , nothing fancy or crazy. Just show up with an idea. Most people show up for a few days and then give up.

I have learned to recognize resistance, Lizard Brain. 

The way I see it is you can play. Immerse yourself in your idea and let that emotion pour out on the canvas.

Canvas can be a song, a book, or anything really. Yes, it’s how you say it. Yes, its how you feel. 

Or, and here’s the ugly truth,  you could  edit, overthink, analyze, doubt, fear, put-off, deny, forget, lie, erase…its all the same. 

My best work happens within the very first rounds. I create this idea in my mind, paint and there it is. Ok, maybe there’s a little what am I trying to convey here. 

Problem is for those firsts to be awesome, lots of showing up has to happen.   I get that now. 

-there are no impossibilities

thoughts are things

I am an illustrator

I’m not an illustrator. I am not a hand letterer. Wait a minute, did I just write that? Yeah I did and its forever on the last page of my journal entry. Something feels wrong about this. I feel limited.

 

So then  I go and listen to an awesome The Nose Knows Podcast. Jon Contino answers the question, when can you call yourself an illustrator. “It’s all in your head he says. You don’t need for someone to tell you, a degree or instagram likes…”

Not exactly his words but yeah that’s what he said. He’s right.

I don’t need a contest on instagram to tell me. For some reason I did look to this contest as a way to prove myself in a sense. I don’t need to do that. It was awesome to be part of this project. It was awesome to share my project.  I am happy for all the winners! I’m happy that I was able to put this poster together. I am growing and working on amazing projects. Yes every now and then it is awesome to have a MOMA artist like my work. I’ll take that.

passion prject poster

 

THERE YOU GO. I am an illustrator. Sure my are isn’t like the cool illustrations in a Curious George book. Nor do they have to be. That’s the point.  I am  an illustrator and a hand letterer. There are different styles and mine IS MY STYLE. I mean its my voice. Lots of people draw letters, with quotes, about life BUT ITS HOW YOU SAY IT. Shouldn’t I be telling  my story? Yes.

All this goes back to the movie A STAR IS BORN and the phrase I learned from a character who when the world shouts impossible she says

 

…there are no impossibilities.  She says it a smile.

watercolor and tempera

Practice to find style

I came to an important realization. I’m not an illustrator. I’m not a hand letterer. I do love to paint letters like these

hand lettering

and doodle letters like this.

happy days

I live for drawing moments like these. I had no idea what I’d paint, draw or doodle until I did. I totally get why its important to get 10,000 tries down.

I love making books. I express them with obsession of color and nature. I keep thinking about my book and how I illustrated it. I just painted trees. It was easy. OK, I had to repaint and repaint and repaint trees but that was part of the process.

title page

 

Wait, how do I display my name on my books? Silly details. Why am I thinking about all this? That’s all I’ve been thinking about this week. I did some research on blogging and branding. Words like honesty, emotions and connections clearly stand out. So I took a picture. I felt weird trying to take a selfie. It’s just not something I do but I can post about art forever. I’ve found my lace.

-there are no impossibilities

watercolor and tempera

Passion Projects

I’ve got tons of them and yet I am painting this poster.

passion prject poster

…which has me thinking about all the books I want to publish. Seems like there’s not enough time to get them all done. Maybe I should start with ebooks? Yes, that seems like a good idea. But I have dreams of holding my book in hand. I loved paining all of those trees. What about giving the ebook away for free? I want readers to imagine and be curious with every turn of the page.

I’ve been thinking about all of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve learned that I’m not an illustrator. I doodle. I paint. I CREATE. Ok yes I illustrate but I realize my talent is along the lines of, The day the crayons quit or Eric Carle’s collage art. I could do that. Well. not like Carle BUT like ME.

treeh

I long to create  this type of work  everyday of my life. That’s why I painted this poster for #HOMwork. Painting this made me think of all the books I’ve either written or started painting.

passion prject poster

I feel like I just have to share my work. I have days where I paint thoughts that pop in my head.

I have days where I work on books. Winning the scholarship could help me write my books the way I see them in my head.

-there are no impossibilities

thoughts are things

projects help you learn

There is so much I’ve learned since I had this crazy idea to write my very own picture book. Seems like such a looong time since then.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

 

I learned to paint my trees with fun objects with Jay Lee.

pint tree painted with acrylic paint

I learned to add texture with my trees and my painting has improved too. Put to use the skills I learned with Ana Victoria

Color Theory class

 

..and improving on my drawing. It’s only getting better because I’m taking a drawing class with a Disney animator and it is awesome!

When I started

barebeforebeauty

…to the recent version I painted.  Loving this tree and I posted about it today.

 

bearbeauty

This week I will hand letter the manuscript and begin learning how to design the book layout.

I have learned and I keep growing. I’ve learned how to plan my time and most importantly I’ve learned to embrace my ideas.  I’m writing as I have always loved to write.  I’ve gotten back into hand lettering, and oh yeah there’s this constant need to take deep breaths and learn how to deal with the fear and doubt. I am excited for the wise trees book to finally be completed but the thought of it on Amazon and hoping I did the best I can do and then seeing a mistake haunts me. I will overcome this. It’s ok to feel this way. The cool part is I heard the great James Victore talk about this. We all go through this no matter how much experience we have but it gets better!

-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.