"The Moment Before I Lost My Mom" Kids Book Project Progress for SCBIW Portfolio Preview. . .and eventually Self Publish by April 2020

  • @Squirrel-Size Awesome! Just followed you on IG (I'm Abrushwithhumor). Message me when you have some free time 850-502-6707


  • Stayed up till 1am last night, but then decided I should be a wee bit healthy and get some wink eye before going to work this morning. I'm going to really need some coffee this afternoon 🙂 yum.
    So I got my cover to a really good place, I still want to add some detail to the squirrels, and then splash some color everywhere. But Dummy-book wise, I think it will do. "That will do pig, that will do." Oh! now I really want to watch that movie

    "Here I'm Happy" is a title place holder, but it has been growing on me though. What do you all think of that title? I Googled it and I couldn't find any books with that title which is a good sign.

    I also spent several hours yesterday playing with the text when I should have been drawing. Oh well, but my editor is really happy with the text now.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 7.33.29 AM.png

    Oh, also since I've got the text to a good place, turns out I will be adding yet another page, so I'm gonna be doing that tonight in addition to finishing the cover and cleaning up portfolio pieces/sketching companion pieces to my portfolio pieces. Baaaaaah! Hang in there Squirrel, hang in there! Oh no! its happened! I'm talking to myself in third person! Or at least I think thats in third person? I don't know. . .

  • SVS OG

    @Squirrel-Size I like Here I'm Happy as a title. Better than all the rest. Can't wait to see this all finished 😊

  • Another late nighter last night, but I got the cover to a good dummy-book stage and my last minuet page finished! At lunch today I'm going to print my book out! I did some trouble shooting yesterday, so printing should be a breeze. I also printed my very first post cards too! Boom! They turned out quite nice if I must say so 🙂

    last minuet added page:
    Screen Shot 2019-09-13 at 7.07.53 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2019-09-13 at 7.05.28 AM.png

    To do list for today (my last day)!

    1. Print dummy-book out.
    2. print out portfolio pieces
    3. finish portfolio sketches and print
    4. book bind dummy book
    5. cut paper for portfolio background and put portfolio together

    Tonight will prob be another late nighter, but so far going strong!

    Now, where's my coffee. . .

  • I'M STILL ALIVE! I survived it you all, and I got the dummy-book and my portfolio all done at 3am in the morning of the conference. I must say i was chugging the free coffee at the conference. But you all, it was soo amazing! any of you who haven't checked out SCBWI (Society of Children's books writers and illustrators). You should totally check them out! They always have cool stuff going on. Here is they're website:
    There is a membership fee but I think its totally worth it if your ready for the next level 🙂 Its a good compliment to SVS. I heard SCBWI mentioned on the SVS podcast before too. SCBWI has a ton of resources available to members, and the community is so friendly, helpful and encouraging. I don't know if they do this everywhere, but down here in Nashville they also have monthly hang outs where we meet up and talk about our projects and get input!

    I also got to meet @StudioLooong while at the conference too! She got honorable mention for the portfolio preview! You go girl!

    I almost met @robinleigh49, but my brain was so full of fluff (kinda like Poo Bear) that I totally forgot to reach out ): I'm bummed, but I'm determined to find you next time Robin! Do you think your coming next year?

    I'm going to be submitting my dummy-book to a few agents and publishers who were at the conference. I may not know anything till the end of this year, but I'm in no rush. And I'm trying not to put my hopes up too much. But its exciting to see where this project might go. 🙂

    As of right now, I'm taking a break from drawing and I'm going to let this project pickle. The plan is to have people review it and give me their input on any edits I should consider before hitting the coloring stage.

    Thanks to everyone who has helped me on this crazy adventure so far. It means the world to me to have such an awesome online community here! I've learned so much from you all! and if it wasn't for you all keeping me accountable, I'm sure I would not have gotten this done in time.
    Go forth and be awesome art peeps!

    Here are a few pics from the mock up:


  • SVS OG

    I love it and am so excited for you! I used to belong to SCBWI but decided that I won't pursue fame as a published author illustrator anymore 🙂 I enjoyed two Illustrators days in SF and was a part of a writing critique group for a short time, I guess I still am but it's pretty much died out to nothing. So, I kind of know how you're feeling 🙂 Love your book project!

  • @Squirrel-Size That's wonderful! It's nice that you're able to take an idea all the way to this stage in a matter of time. Looking forward to the finished book!

  • So happy for you! The book came out wonderfully! Yes, SCBWI is a wonderful organization and their conferences are so inspirational. Hope you had a spectacular portfolio sharing experience!

  • Helloooooooo!
    Long time no see! How have you all been? I'm sooo excited for the holiday break!
    I'm back at it you all! So I've let the book pickle for a while and now I'm ready to be back at it! I have been going to school the last three months and I've not had much time to work on my book. I've just been showing it to family, friends, and people getting their feedback. I've gotten a whole bunch of pre-orders 🙂
    I've edited and changed a few things in the book and now I'm now coloring it!!

    Here is what I have so far on this spread:

    Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 8.22.52 AM.png

    I've been going back and forth between self publishing or traditional publishing. They both have pros and cons. I don't remember if I mentioned earlier, but my dream would be for every book sold, one given away to someone who couldn't afford one or just needs a special gift during a hard time in life. I would love to give stacks away to foster kids and funeral homes and what not. I feel like self-publishing would for sure give me the freedom to do that. But its going to be a ton of work on my end. Publishing through a company would be less work for me, but I would also not have much say in a lot of it. Any thoughts anyone?

  • If you want to have it picked up by a publisher, should you just send it in as it is? It's still a dummy at this point even though it's pretty refined. I could see publishers loving it, there is a need for books on coping with loss.

    Either way, I love it and want one whenever it is published.

  • Hey, glad to see you back! I love the colors and light in this spread! Really looking forward to seeing progress 😊

  • @CLCanadyArts Awe, thanks 🙂 Yeah, If I sent it to a publisher, I would leave it mostly as is, just a few spreads in color.

  • SVS OG

    It's beautiful.

  • I got like nothing done during the holidays! Ugh!
    I think I’m going to have to do another art hibernation in order to reach my next deadline. My next deadline is Feb 15. I want to enter it in the local US Bank show in Bowing Green, KY. (I have to give myself deadlines that involve other people lol). Sooooo, I’m gonna get this baby colored!

    I’m playing around with some coloring ideas here.

    I’ve also been playing around with some water color textures I think I may try embed into the layouts.

  • I'm doing an experiment. I used a light table to watercolor on blank paper over the printed copies of the outline of my drawings. Bwala! I created some cool watercolor textures to imbed into my digital procreate files. Here is an example:

    Screen Shot 2020-01-08 at 10.36.38 AM.png

    All the colorizing is done digitally, but I used the watercolor textures to add some real-lifeness to it. I find it difficult to manipulate digital brushes to look like legit water color. Although there are a lot of super nice digital watercolor brushes out there. At some point I need to try to experiment with making my own brushes. Have any of you all done that, made your own brushes?

  • Finally getting around to coloring my book again. Its crazy how much time school can take. I have until Feb 15 to have this thing colored and printed out. I still have some watercolor textures to make and I need to work on "About the Author" page too. Hopefully I can kick some butt this weekend 🙂

    Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 8.22.52 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 8.48.15 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 8.46.20 AM.png
    I added the water color texture to this spread. I still need to do some lining up on the leaves, but I really like the natural messiness it adds to the digital coloring.

  • @Squirrel-Size that first image is a kick in the emotional guts! Very powerful and a really relevant book that needs to be out there ❤️

  • Great work! Your illustrations are very sweet and heart-warming. I like your idea of how you add water colour textures, I might have to experiment with that 🙂

  • @Jenna-Jenks Hahahah! Thanks 🙂 I'm excited about getting them out there

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