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I'm Finally Illustrating the Book I Wrote


(sneak peek from one of the pages of my book)


Well, June has just zipped by in a panic wouldn't you say? Mine was filled with happy festivities, indulgent treats, and progress on a book that has been sitting on hold, yet again, for the past year. You may recall that I wrote a book about 7 years ago and became utterly immobilized when it came time to illustrate it (you can find that post here). To be honest, I put so much pressure on myself to not mess up, that I ultimately set it aside in a mental lockbox for another day. Every year I would revisit the story, opening the box, dusting it off, reading it, and then without fail putting it straight back into the lockbox. Last year, however, was a little different...when I pulled the story out, a few ideas popped in my head, and I started sketching out thumbnails and pictures. I felt like it was going to finally be the year that I had the courage to finish it. I sketched out each page, tweaked the wording, and even started playing around with painting styles. Well a funny thing happened.....not so funny I guess...I just plum didn't have the time to work on it any further with other client projects and having a baby. So, back in the lockbox she went for another year.


(thumbnail sketches of the book)


When February and March came around and I was back to work full time I started peaking into the lockbox once more....but this time felt a little different. I was seeing it in a new light...I was inspired to change the sketches and reformat things. I would spend an hour each day doodling on my iPad, percolating different angles and styles so that my little book could come to light. Then for a month straight I worked and re-worked different illustration and color styles, questioning myself, researching, and ultimately landing on the look that I wanted. One day, I stepped back and realized I had fully illustrated an entire page. And then a week later, I hated it, and started over. Another week later, I stepped back and felt excited that this time I was where I wanted to be.


(sketches of two page layouts)


So, friends, I write to you in the beginning of July, and I officially have 18 pages illustrated. Some weeks I illustrated in a frenzy, and others I didn't pick it up at all. I've constantly felt behind on the schedule I set for myself in the Spring, but I'm persisting...and isn't that the point? I included some pics for you, behind-the-scenes, sneak peeks, or whatever you want to call them of this book in color. I'm really excited about it, but primarily I'm finding myself in a state of flow enjoying the process. When I finish I want to be able to say I had fun making this, and that's what is guiding me every time I set aside an hour to work on it.


(Originally I had planned to paint the pages - these were test pages, but it just didn't feel right with what I envisioned in my head)


The words will get another re-write I'm sure, and the trepidation is definitely not over, but for now I'm excited and anxious to share it with you, my little pet project, when it is all finished...eventually. I remember in college a professor said a painting is never done, you just decide to stop working on it. Woof, do I feel that!!!!


Below are some screenshots of a few pages....what is this story about? It's about a silly adventure filled with quirky and silly imaginative vibes...oh and it rhymes (I love a good rhyming book! I felt this way before having a baby, but I love rhyming stories even more after reading countless books to Leonora)


I decided on a very Pencil sketched out style using my IPad. Above is my main character with a few friends she meets along the way.


I wanted a warm color palette and a looser style of pencil. The ipad allowed me to play with this look more than paper.


Another sneak peek of a current illustration. Having so much fun being silly with these


I truly am so excited to share these sneaky photos. I know I will re-work all of these some more at the end, and I also know it is so possible that the book will be put on pause once more. But fingers crossed, if that happens, it will only be temporary.


Until next month,

Rachel













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