Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekly Update

Here's a peek at the still-in-progress illustration that I've been working on this week:
This image will be part of my children's book illustration portfolio. A while back I sent little booklets of my "fine art" work out to children's publishers. I had some great responses--constructively critical rejections and even a couple of "we're keeping your portfolio in our files" style "acceptances." Several of the art directors who wrote to me said that they would like to see me create a sequence of images showing consistent characters within developed settings. Gosh, that seems so obvious. But at the time, I wanted to get the ball rolling quickly by using images that I had already created. To be fair, this wasn't the worst idea ever. My fine art has a rather illustration-y feel to it. But it was kind of an amateur move. In any case, the responses I received prompted me to create a coherent sequence of illustrations that reflects the way that I would approach a children's book. I came up with a story about two fireflies, Marcus and Petunia, who establish a friendship and have a little adventure. I've been working on the illustrations for this story off and on since September. Now that my pre-holiday teaching hiatus has begun, I'll have time to finish up the last remaining images and get everything packed up and ready to mail. My plan is to wait until late January/early February before I actually send them. Otherwise, I'm afraid that they might get lost in the post-holiday shuffle.

As I get closer to finishing this project, I've begun the absurd (but characteristic) process of stressing out over every little thing. My latest obsession is that my characters might not be consistent enough from one image to the next. I've reworked some of them quite a bit, but
I continue to freak out about it. So here are some zoomed-in details of a single character as he appears (so far) throughout the sequence. I want him to look very buggy, but also relatable. His emotions/expression are also changing from page to page. Any thoughts? Does the consistency get jarringly lost in his changes of position and expression?

Oh yeah, and yesterday was my birthday:)
There were lots of good wishes and little surprises throughout the day, including this delicious and labor-intensive present from Mary that was waiting at our doorstep when I got home from teaching. Thank you everyone! xoxoxo


Cat B said...

I think Marcus is very consistent. No need to worry! His features are buggy and yet have a great human feel at the same time. I think you're doing a great job of expressing emotions in his face and are giving it just the right amount of exaggeration. Well done! Now I can't wait to read the book!

ArtSparker said...

I'm impressed by the expressiveness of his face.