Monday, January 28, 2008

A completed Children's Book: Puzzled Pauly

I just finished a children's book for Tippy Tales Inc.

The book is called Puzzled Pauly and was written by Ben Orlando. I was contacted by them earlier this month to do all the illustrations.

It was a lot of fun to work on...although it couldn't have come at a worse time. It seems like the second I agreed to this job I was suddenly approached by The Mighty B (a new show here at Nickelodeon) to do some freelance for them...

Well - 'some' freelance is a bit of an understatment - I was asked to do A LOT of freelance for them. It was pretty cool too because I really wanted to work on that show, and I finally had my chance.

But that wasn't all. I had the children's book to draw AND the freelance - and suddenly two jobs opened on Ni Hao Kai Lan (I never could spell that name properly until now, since I've had a lot of dealings with them)...and I HAD to try and test for those jobs.

And, on top of all of this, another small publishing company approached me to do a spec picture for an upcoming book they're doing on Brett Favre. It was a nightmare. I originally agreed to work for them as well - but I eventually had to turn it down because I had no time to devote to it. And while it could have been a good opportunity, it was the only thing I had on my plate that wasn't paying...well, the animation tests weren't either - but at least those were on my list of priorities.

Anyhow - I did the first animation test last weekend on Martin Luther King Jr Day. I spent an hour to an hour and a half each morning, as well as my lunch breaks, working on the children's book (Puzzled Pauly) and then in the evenings Tracey and I would clean-up and color the finished rough pages...all the while I was also doing clean-up for The Mighty B.

It's been a hard few weeks to start the new year...although it'd be nice if the level of interest in our freelance work continued...hopefully not consistantly at this level, but at a high rate...we do need some weekend days off...some time...

Here's the first page in Puzzled Pauly - I can't include the words so none of ya's steals it. I did the original rough and Tracey did the clean-up and the color.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Adelia Green Lantern

I did this drawing over the Christmas break...I got a book on the art of Brian Bolland (which is fantastic! He's one of the best artists in comics) - and in the book there were several drawings he had done of Green Lantern.Well - looking at art books always makes me want to draw - and I had an idea of drawing Adelia as several different popular characters - so I drew her as Green Lantern. It was quite a rough drawing, but had the full idea that I wanted. I tend to cringe at people looking at my sketchbook because I work really loose until I can scan the picture into the computer and redraw it in Adobe Illustrator. this was my sketch:


After I cleaned it up - I printed it out and redrew the body and the position of the hands...using those hand drawn revisions as a reference I changed my Illustrator drawing (that's the nice thing about drawing on the computer is how easy it is to manipulate the lines you've created).And finally - I used my lunch break today to paint it. I started painting it like I did my other Adelia pieces - with the scratch line technique...but as I was going through it I really thought it'd be cool if it looked painted. So I used more of a brush stroke look to the shading. And this is the result:


Adelia: Flying a kite

In December I finished revising my Children's Book Adelia. I immediately sent it to Chronicle Books to see if they might publish it.

I have two big hurdles to jump for Chronicle Books to even consider my book. The first is the overwhelming number of submissions they (and all) publishers receive - and unfortunately the Christmas season is the worst time to submit work as every hack had time to send in their story. After January, things should slow back to the (still enormous) level of submissions and I'll hopefully get a looking at then (I'm hoping by March, at least).

The second thing against me is that Chronicle books already published a book about a small girl and her balloon. I still chose to submit to Chronicle Books first because they consistently have children's books similar to the style in which I draw and write. And while my book also contains a small child (albeit a penguin girl), our stories differ in several key ways - mine is better drawn, colored, and is vibrant and witty. A bit of hubris, maybe, but accurate.

Anyhow - I have several drawings from my book that I'm coloring - While one should usually wait until someone purchases their story, I'm going to slowly color it in case I need to self publish (inevitably, even the best of stories will get lost in the shuffle of the slush pile in big publishing houses). I would also like to give my dummy book the best chance of getting published by including the strongest color samples (when you're an illustrator drawing your own children's book, you submit a dummy book - this consists of the entire 32 page story with rough drawings, I cleaned mine up in Adobe Illustrator, and 2 to 3 color samples).

Here's my latest painting from Adelia.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Adelia: Sneaking...

I was working on a series of Adelias where she was doing a sequence of something. It started with the first book I worked on - where she was walking along and came along a string and picked it up. After that one I drew Adelia sneaking past something...but I was held from finishing it as I couldn't think of anything to have her sneak by. Obviously it should have been the balloon sleeping...and once I figured that out - I got it sorted.

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