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.
I had a busy week. Got up at 5:30-6:00 am every single day with a plan. I painted, edited, scanned and set up the layout for Ellie. I never realized how much work goes into scanning all the artwork and preparing the files.
I went back and forth publishing and updating Wise Trees. I shared the book with art friends and it felt good to have them excited with me.
And then the stupid book cover didn’t upload. It just wouldn’t load. Something went wrong with the file. There it is, I had it all done, worked out, finished and the cover wouldn’t upload.
Oh but I finally got it right. I finished Wise Trees! I have been working on these books for months, two summers and …..I am reminded of some words from The Nose Knows podcast.
You get to a point where things get crazy, and you just got to get things done. You have a deadline to meet. Your adrenaline is full speed. You have to trust your instincts because there’s no time for fear or doubt.
Two days later I’m done DONE with Ellie. And done with Ana and George. That’s it DONE.
I’m using my old sketches for the artwork. These sketches are pretty good.
Scan these sketches in as images? Redraw some of the messy ones. A full color page and title page? Maybe I should outline each art piece with full color . I do like the sketches in The Giving Tree. But I want to add a little color. I have to meet this deadline. I’ll have to think about that, but yeah, I think this will work.
My book is here. Did I just upload the file and hit submit? Yup. Now I wait, until I receive confirmation that everything is ready for printing and press. Thank you amazon. Thank you wonderful person.
Funny how the tables turned. Yesterday I felt this nudge in my heart. It yelled, I knew you couldn’t do it. I saw all of the books I am working on. All of the deadlines I committed to and the hope and love poured out on every single page. I knew I could do it.
I took a break. I had some chocolate, tea and painted for my next book. Oh and I asked for help. Today I came home and in minutes finished my book.
Oh shoot now its on to other projects. I’m scared. I’m excited.
I’ve grown since I painted the first wise tree. For every wash and texture that went wrong, I learned–learned how to find my place, to practice and FLOW. Yeah I’ll write books for while. I rewrote the Ana and George. Ana isn’t a bee anymore. Not sure what animal she’ll be.
I came across the loveliest work twice. A giraffe who stands tall, his neck becoming part of the pattern of birds flying in the sky. The awesome quote treads,” I’m like a bird.” What a wonderful idea!
And the other is an I Heart Guts collection. It’s cute, funny, and unmistakable.
Both of these are unmistakable and creative. Both are created by artists who simply did.
I spent a great deal of time working on the small details for the book. One of them is hand writing and lettering the words for my picture book.
I have seen so many others do the same and I thought YEAH why not. I love Austin Kleon’s books and James Victore too. They remind me that the most important part of art is what it says.
Besides the way I write is perfect for creating a journal vibe because that’s just what this book is. The wise trees book is a journal for my collection of abstract trees that I painted to satisfy my curiosity and imagination. Oh and this idea that we are all one follows me around too.
Acrylic paint is just the right dark brown but it’s hard to write with. This is the lettering for my dedication page.
Well hold on there. This doesn’t look too bad. I’ll practice later on today.
picture books should be easy readers so 8-10 words per line
hand writing is a great idea—The day the crayons quit
this book is for kids of all ages but I need them to feel that every idea is worth exploring
Write big letters and have fun with a few of them
font size should be about 16-18
space in between lines helps little ones read
every detail has to work together to convey the message I want readers to experience
This week I spent a good deal removing backgrounds from the trees paintings. Only to realize I did it wrong. I was frustrated and then something happened. I kept going and redid all the PNG images… ALMOST ready to look at the final book layout. When I say final I mean the first round the of the whole book put together for the first time. This tree about sums up my experience. You’ve got to have strong roots.
use an angled brush
mix various tones of green
use a mix of dry brush and wet on wet painting to get awesome tree textures
apply paint in a dab and press motion
paint here and paint there and paint until it feels right
don’t focus on one spot at the same time
-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.
Oh yeah this is another tree for the WISE TREES Book. I have the process down and just about finished with the pesky business of creating digital files all ready to create the first draw of the entire book. Feels good and come to think of it, this tree sums up the experience. To create this book I have to bare down to ME, my imagination and let curiosity run wild. Or is it the other way around?
crayola oil pastels.
watercolor paint for the leaves.
combination of tan and brown. Mix in a little of each color with a little brown to create unified tones throughout.
layered with light and then dark. Hey this is becoming a pattern…a style.
love this idea and this just seems to be illuminating and radiates the intended message.
Note to self…just paint and play because that’s when the magic happens.
Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.
So I didn’t make my Read Across America deadline BUT I was sick and still am. I am slowly recovering and something AMAZING happened. After a long LONG week I got out my paint brushes and painted. With each stroke I felt this charge and painted an awesome tree.
observe a tree
wait a few days and recreate it from memory
use the shape of size 10 brush to create the leaf shapes
using brown and yellow watercolor for the trunk makes the perfect brown
use tempera paint and add the paint in layers going from light to dark
Afterward I reflected on how I felt and literally jumped up like a kid who’s just been told he’s going to Disneyland That’s how I know that I can’t give this art up. Art is in my blood. It just is. I can’t believe how easy it was to create this beautiful tree. Four trees to go, and I will be ready to scan all of them and start putting the book together . There I go again with a smile. I see every page and with a deep breath and a smile I know it’s going to be awesome!
Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.