WIP for March Fairy Tale Traveler

  • Hi, everyone (tl;dr - question is bolded below)

    I've been regularly lurking in the forum for the past few months, finally remembering to enter the contests and I'm trying to lean into committing to make the illustrator progress needed to become an author/illustrator of adventurous children's books (PB/CB/MG).

    Like many, I love this prompt. It hits right in the sweet spot for stories I want to tell. Thus, I immediately dove into thinking about character.

    Young, naive but resilient and stouthearted
    Fairy tale, traveler, world with goblins

    Ultimately, I landed on a middle grade story about a human boy raised in a village of magical elves. He's self-conscious about being just a human around all of these "superior" beings. (Good things he's about to discover he's actually a wizard thanks to his mentor). I have tentpole moments for the middle grade book already roughed and would like to try to write it one day.

    At the same time, I was updating a picture I drew about a young girl who idolizes the local warrior princess. When the princess disappears, she sets out to bring her home. It's easy to roll goblins in as the threat – at least for the next three months.

    Watching the last few critique arena, it seems pretty obvious that cute wins and picture book characters have a head start. Am I crazy to go with the middle grade human below? (that's quick sketch and color so wardrobe/weapon/color are far from final as possible) Or do y'all recommend going with the bunny who probably needs a lot of corrections and adjustments anyway because I'm still novice and prone to tangents? (she just happens to have 3 "finished" pieces already that fit the manuscript)


    Those are not poses for her for this – they fit the manuscript so I'd have to adjust. Maybe the idolizing shot could be a 3/4 but that's it. Those might be his poses, but there's more story needed in what would wind up on the character sheet.

    Thank you for reading my novel. I appreciate all help/advice/thoughts.

  • @Kevintreaccar you are not crazy, you shouldn’t make art to win the contest, you should make art for yourself and your personal goals. Use the contest to help inspire you to do those things.

    The biggest lesson I ever learned as an artist was to trust myself and to make art that made me happy regardless of wether or not I thought my teachers or Instagram or a potential boss “would like it.”

    In fact, I one time got the chance to do an art test for a big name game company. But they wanted a monster in a city and I knew everyone applying would do a dark monster destroying the city and I wouldn’t be happy with that so instead I did a monster on a date. And you know what, they turned me down for the job INSTANTANEOUSLY 😂. But I put that piece in my portfolio and it was one of the favorite pieces of the hiring manager at Disney interactive and I got a job there instead. And trust me I was much happier!

    TLDR: make art that makes you happy

  • @carlianne Haha. That’s a great story. Thank you for reminding me about focusing on progress. I definitely have a competitive streak that can take my eye off the right prize.

  • @Kevintreaccar I understand I am that way too 😂

Log in to reply