It sounds like it would be a super fun book to illustrate
Best posts made by DanetteDraws
RE: NEW MONTHLY CONTEST!! MERMAIDS! (MERMEN!)
It's so fun seeing everyone's and how different they all are.
Here's my entry! She's a merMAID... with her algae-eating fish "vacuum" and jellyfish "duster".
Thanks SVS for hosting this contest! Not only did I have a lot of fun illustrating it, but it gave me inspiration for a writing prompt too!
Eileen...Keepin' the Ocean Clean
RE: November 3rd Thursday
Hey everyone! Here's mine
Although Poe's works are very gruesome and dark, I thought they could be adapted to suit children, just like the Grimm's tales were. So mine is for children - maybe more like a middle grade age rather than super young picture book style.
The entries are all looking so great! Can't wait for tonight Good luck guys!
RE: April 3rd Thursday
Wow, such great entries I see here already!
I've already won (so I can't win again), but thought I'd join the party anyway.
I decided to (loosely) take the text and make it into a retelling (a very brief one!) of Frankenweenie in a graphic novel style. And couldn't help but add some humour in too haha. Can't wait to see them all tonight!
RE: Making postcards
@eric-castleman Most will do a single colour image on the front (which may or may not include just their URL small in the corner) and then on the back, all their contact info and a spot black and white image.
I follow the Sub it Club blog and they do a feature called the "Postcard Post". Here's the archive of that feature where different artists share the postcards they've sent out and advice on strategy. It should give you all the info you need! https://subitclub.com/postcard-post-archive/
RE: Next 3rd Thursday: Agents
@Lee-White Ooohh, great topic!
A few things come to mind:
- The types of agents there are and who they'd best represent (how to determine which type of agent you should approach based on your own strengths and overall goals)
- The types of questions you'd be asked in "The Call". Also, what questions you should ask the agent in order to determine if they'd be a good fit for YOU.
- How much work and what types of work you should have ready before you approach an agent (I've been told by one agent that I pitched at a conference that I should have - as both an illustrator and writer - 3 picture book manuscripts ready in addition to my middle grade graphic novel manuscript, in addition to my portfolio, and she was only actually interested in ONE full dummy done on one of my PBs and said the other manuscripts don't need a dummy because she could sell them with my portfolio being the foundation for showing my style/capabilities. Is this the norm?).
- What are realistic expectations of what working with an agent will be like.
RE: Own Voices
One more thing... If writers and illustrators could only ever depict characters of their own identity, we'd never have a diverse cast of characters in any given story. It would be a sad, sad day if we, instead of seeing multicultural books, began to see "white books", "gay books", "Asian books", etc. This is not representative of life nor is it a message I think we'd want in our world.
RE: Ripple Grove Press - looking for children's book story submissions
I personally know one of their author-illustrators (Jami Gigot - Mae and the Moon) and I believe she's happy with the outcome of working with them.
RE: Should I not be posting pieces from my book dummy on social media?
I recently sent in a question to this effect to Kathy Temean's Writing and Illustrating blog. She currently has a monthly feature on there where Cat and Chris of the CATugeau agency responds to questions.
They just responded to mine on the blog yesterday. Here's what Chris said:
'Danette, an author/illustrator, asked about the protocol with showing images from a book dummy on your site portfolio and other social media. This is actually a very good question and one that needs looking at thoughtfully. It matters if it is YOUR written and illustrated story that YOU are trying to sell, or one you have illustrated for another, or sold to a publisher. First, if the copy rights are still yours, you CAN show it certainly…. doing so might even help you sell it if a buyer sees it there and is interested. But you run the risk of someone ‘borrowing’ the idea if you show too much. (doesn’t happen often…very trustworthy industry…but it does happen) Second, if you have illustrated someone else UNSOLD ms you should get their permission before showing a couple of pieces or characters. Remember, showing sequential, same character images is what helps buyers know what you can do with a narrative story, so you want to show that. Third, if the images are from a SOLD ms with a publisher you MAY NOT show the images (without their permission) until the book is printed! This is very important to know and respect – and legally upheld!'
BTW - you can still submit questions to Kathy for future blogs, in case anyone has questions they'd like answered!
SCBWI postcard contest results
Results are out and the unofficial gallery has gone live today: https://scbwicontestentriesgallery.blogspot.ca/?m=1 Not all the pieces are showing yet though, but a few to browse through!
I'm kicking myself, especially since I'm a graphic designer so I should know better...But all the ones chosen have decent white space in them for SCBWI to include their logo (and if you go to their site the winning 5 are shown with the logos included). Mine didn't have any space. I thought of their colours, for branding purposes, but not space for their logo. DOH! That's something they should've listed though in their contest rules.
Anyway, it's all a learning opportunity. I might still print mine and send out for my own promotional piece!
RE: Agents/reps... what have you been thinking after the webinar?
@evilrobot I queried an agent FAR too soon (over two years ago now) with my book dummy and that was Stephen Fraser. I had a really great experience though, receiving the best rejection you could possibly get. He got back to me within a day of my initial email and gave me personal feedback (not just a form letter). He was quite complimentary of my illustration, but my writing was quite lacking back then and told me specific things that weren't working about my story. It was incredibly helpful and I was blown away by him taking the time like that. Now, I don't know if he always has the time to respond (likely not!) - let alone so timely like that - but I just wanted to mention I got a really great impression from him because of that experience. Good luck when you query him!
RE: Own Voices
This is such a great topic @smceccarelli, thanks for starting it!
It's one, like others here already have mentioned before me, that gets me fired up too. I agree with what everyone is saying about how we most definitely should be showing a diverse range of ethnicities in our art. I most definitely understand the need for #ownvoices and fully support that. But reality is, the majority of books still being published today are those of Caucasian decent, or those who wouldn't identify with a non-white label (or marginalized group, whatever that may be). If those white writers and illustrators then are limited to depicting ONLY other white people, our problem continues with not representing enough of a diverse range in our works.
I don't think I've noticed anyone else mention this, but a popular recommendation I've heard given to writers lately is that it's totally fine to write outside of your identity, but on top of doing thorough research, you should get (and potentially pay for) a "sensitivity reader" who is part of marginalized group you've written about. They then give you feedback on whether you've properly portrayed that culture or group in your work. I wonder if, as illustrators, we could do something similar. Reach out to someone we're trying to depict in our work and ask for feedback.
The thing is though too, is that there's so many identities and different experiences within a single cultural group that even if someone were to be an #ownvoices author or illustrator, they still can't completely represent their entire race through their work. Just as I, as a white Canadian, would research the hell out of depicting a white person from France for example before writing or illustrating about them, it's no different than if I chose to have my MC be a gay biracial male for example. The whole point of fiction too is that we're writing and illustrating characters that are different than ourselves, that have their own voice outside our own. If we take care to be culturally sensitive and make sure we're representing a group to the best of our ability, there should be no harm in that.
I do think though that you shouldn't pigeon hole a diverse cast of characters if it's not right for the story. And take a look at shows. For example: RIVERDALE (guilty pleasure! I devoured Archie comics as a kid. Shot here in Vancouver BC too!) - where they randomly changed the original cast just to be diverse. Suddenly, Mr. Weatherbee is black and Reggie is Asian. I do find it a bit weird (having grown up with very different characters in the comics) but I'm okay with that as long as the overarching original 'world' they live in isn't affected by the change.
Also, I feel sometimes that white folk get a bit of reverse racism thrown at them. If someone comes along who's #ownvoices, would they get the same feedback that their secondary characters shouldn't be white?!
RE: Do you have an image I can critique?
Hi @Will-Terry - thanks so much for doing these critiques! I'll post one of my own illustrations shortly too.
But first, I want to chime in to counter something you suggested in @mag's critique in your second video. I hope you don't mind I thought I'd wear my graphic designer hat and offer you (and anyone who reads this!) my view on how I'd fix the text overlapping the tree that differs from what you did in your video Will.
I absolutely agree with what you've said 100% about designers liking symmetry and order and not overlapping text on objects, etc - no issues there! For this image in particular though, if I were the art director or designer on the job I wouldn't go back to Mag to ask her to change the size of the tree on the right so that text isn't overlapping. Why? Because I think it's the text that's been placed in there poorly rather than the illustration not having left enough space for the text. I think she's left plenty!
So a bit of a lesson on placing in text - you don't want your line lengths to be too long. It affects legibility and also - again, wearing my designer's hat - looks ugly and unbalanced. I did a quick fix in Photoshop of BOTH text boxes to a couple of the lines I felt were too long. Comparing to the original, hopefully you can see that my Photoshopped version is tidier with better balance (although the lightened rectangular boxes behind the text are definitely unbalanced now! I'd make those smaller comparatively - and OMG I was SO happy in the video when Will blurred out the edges around those boxes! And now, in addition to blurring the edges, that big orange tree can come IN FRONT of the lightened area and be totally unobstructed).
Not that I think illustrators need to be experts at placing in text - that's what the designer is for after all - but I don't think it ever hurts to present the graphic design side of things as best you can. It can only make your illustrations/portfolio look that much more polished and professional!
My Photoshopped (with line lengths changed):
Will, I hope you don't mind me chiming in with my two cents!
RE: Which style for a Teenie story
I'd have to agree with (most) of the others about being more drawn to the watercolour looking one and that it's more fleshed out than the second style.
That said, I also totally agree with @Rich-Green in that your stylization of the 'scene' doesn't seem modern. I think it's the bed posts and lamp that seem "old" and her hair style too - I think you were going for the 'messy just woke up look' but it looks more like a formal up-do to me, maybe from the 50's. And the colour of her pajamas also makes her look like she's wearing a formless hospital gown.
I really like her expression and pose looking at her phone. I think that would be quite relatable for teens - she's got that teenage angst written all over her face haha
Good luck on your tight deadline!
RE: Do you have an image I can critique?
Hi @Will-Terry, thank you so very much for doing these for us! I watch and love all your videos.
If you would like to critique my piece I'd appreciate it a great deal!
This is for a book dummy project of mine. It's a double-page spread for a small book (fits into a Christmas stocking) that's more tall than it is wide.
I know for sure that the perspective is off but I don't know how to fix it. I can't even tell if it's just one or both the circular conveyor belt and/or Hollie (the pinkish red head who's standing).
Thank you so much!
RE: The 12 Sleighs of Christmas Book Cover Process
@Jake-Parker WOW! Thank you so much for sharing your process with us. This is fantastic. I'm envious that it's with Chronicle books, they're one of my all-time fav publishers (literally everything they produce I love - and this book of yours looks like it'll be no exception! I can't wait to read it when it's out). It's encouraging to see their email correspondence with you too - how friendly it is but at the same time quite clear in their direction. I also literally had a geek out moment when I read Kristine's email asking if you had thoughts on the finishing touches (like adding foil) - I wasn't sure if that was something they were open to suggestions from the illustrator on. Given that I'm a graphic designer though that makes me so very happy! I absolutely love details like that to really give it that extra polish and to draw the eye.
The other thing that really stood out to me is your line work and flats in step 6 - holy cow if you left it there and didn't do any further finessing would it ever remind me of Dr. Seuss!
I checked out the 'Look inside' feature on Amazon - I particularly love your stylization of the elves (their noses, ears and blue hair are awesome!). And from the bits of the story I could read it sounds charming and I like the writing style. I'm definitely buying it when it's out