Saturday, January 30, 2010

Feeling very inexpereinced

Recently I spoke with an artist. She was obviously experienced and from what I hear a very talented person. She asked me questions and I didn't know the answer to them. Wanting to appear knowledgeable I answered what I thought instead of saying, "I don't know." I hate that there is still a place in me that needs to feel important enough to others that I can't be honest with others and more importantly myself.

She asked if I had done any research about what publishers want. Then she asked, "What happens when you submit this and they like your book and don't like or won't accept your art work? The artist is then out the time they spent on your pictures." AAACK! I don't want anyone to be out of anything...especially if they spend the time and put in the effort to work on this project with me. I did a lot of thinking over the last week about these questions and what I was willing to relinquish as far as control goes.

The answer: I am not willing to let my book go to a publisher if I can have some say about the pictures. This means that I may never get published like Fancy Nancy or Curious George. I think that in the end even if I self publish I will have a book that I am proud to give my children. If I spend all this time working with an artist and come up with a finished project that I love then I won't give up much of anything. And really, if it is a beautiful book in words as well as pictures I hope that publishers will be lining up to publish it...

But find the artist willing to work with my newness. Not found anyone yet.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where am I?

Good question.
Geoff, my fabulous but sometimes crazy husband, and I have tossed over the idea of writing a children's book.  We have done this for 6+ years.  I have written several drafts in my head and a few on a word processing program.
The problem is that I don't know where to start.  I did a little bit of research to find out how one goes about publishing or getting a children's book published.  There are hundreds of publishers.  It was suggested to me that in order to get published by some of the "greats" that I would have to write my story and give it to them to find an artist.  I am too much of a control freak to let that happen especially when the art is so important to me.  And I keep trying to describe the art in words instead of letting the art speak for itself.  But it can't speak since I don't have an illustrator.
My other problem is that I feel like a failure.  My house is relatively small.  Only a 3 bedroom 2 bath with family room and living room.  Oh yeah...and a really great kitchen.  At the moment it is in various states of mess and clutter.  The floors need to be mopped, the laundry isn't done but in process, the toys are all over the floor despite the fact that I picked them all up yesterday.  Connor, the standard poodle, has tracked in mud from the unfinished disaster that we call a back yard.  I have 3 kids and a house.  It is all that I am in control of and I use the term control lightly.  (If anyone has ever tried to get a pair of shoes on a three year old and get them out the door in a timely fashion you understand what I mean.)  I can't seem to stay on top of the house and the kids and here I am trying to start another project.  But sometimes I think that if I don't have another project (ie. children's book) to focus on I will burn down the house and put my kids on the curb with free signs around their necks.  But I digress...
So the next move is to find an artist.  It may hurt my chances of getting a publisher and a book deal but in the long run do I want the kids book with my name on it to have beautiful art that I picked or art that may not be so beautiful because someone else did?
I put an ad on craigs list.  I updated my status on facebook.  I started putting feelers out there for anyone who dreams of being published as much as I do and I hope that I find someone that I can trust with my dream and one that can add to it.  So far I got 3 responses from the ad and at least 4 from facebook....yay for social networking.  I am looking for realism, something that you could say "Wow! That isn't a picture?" and I want it to have great color.  I have given all the artists the same assignment.  "Please show me what this looks like to you..." and I hope at the end of it one of them comes back with something that looks a little like what I have in my head. 
The search is on.  If anyone knows someone good with color, portraits and animals then let me know. 

The begining

In the beginning there was a word and the word was God...not really.
Words are my enemy right now. I want to use them to create beautiful children's books but mostly I use them trying to create art and that is not my job...that is the illustrators job. The problem is that God gave me the power to appreciate art...REALLY appreciate it. But not the ability to create it. So I am searching for my illustrator, my muse, my words and little inspiration.
Hopefully by the end of this blog I will have a published Children's series called The Zoo Card and be deliriously famous. But I will settle for having one published children's book even if I have to publish it myself. It will have amazing artwork, a clever story and inspire imagination in children young and old.
Feel free to donate ideas and encouragement...even some constructive criticism if the situation warrents it. But mostly sit back and enjoy the journey.