Continuing on the silent book

I haven’t given up on this project yet!
Currently I’m working on a layout, like what size the pages should be and if they should be filled with many small pictures or just a big one. And, I’m trying to find the right colours. That is really hard, because it’s supposed to take place at night, but I don’t want to make it too dark.
Of course, it’s not really possible to make a bright night scene unless most of it is filled with lamps or other lights (something I’ve had many arguments with clients about). But I still want to experiment to see just how bright I can make it and still have it obvious that it is night time.

Continue reading “Continuing on the silent book”

A super long post about making a children’s book

Hello! Happy saturday everybody! I’m having my first day off in what feels like forever, and it’s well needed. I have a lot of things I’d like to do with my free day, like rebuilding my working space, finish sewing a dress I started on two years ago, fix my boots, repair the fence… I probably won’t be doing any of those things though. My only plan is to take a really long walk with the dog (she truly deserves a day of attention), finally drink that beer that’s been waiting for me in the fridge for months, and to write this blog post. So here we go.

 

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Too much work

Hello friends. I’m sorry to have neglected you lately. The reason is the same as always: I’m working.
The past few weeks have been quite unforgiving. Besides from the going back and forth between two countries on days when there are no buses going (who else in the world uses hitchhiking as a regular way of commuting?), I’ve been getting a little too much work to handle in between those trips. Maybe you noticed the lack of a monthly diary post yesterday. I haven’t had the time to document much.
I really only have myself to blame. I could just start telling people that I need more time, and I should. I will. But sometimes, something comes up where the timeframe can’t be prolonged, and the project is so exciting that I feel as if I have to take it, even though I know I’ll be working every waking hour for a long time. Such is the story about these guys:
DoodleBearDoodleCat1
I was sent a very sweet little love story, which was meant as an anniversary-gift. It was actually a lot better than many of those I’ve had sent to me before, even by people who’s been writing children’s books for years, so I was very eager to illustrate it. But there was one problem. The anniversary was happening ten days from when the client first wrote me.
The reasonable thing to do would be telling her that it’s simply impossible. Just the sketching for a children’s book can take months, there’s no way a whole book can be made in ten days!
But, you know… the story was just so sweet, and I knew how happy it would make her girlfriend to receive such a gift. So I said that if I make them really really simple, and don’t show the sketches or anything – it might be possible.
And so I stupidly attempted to create a whole picture book from scratch in only ten days.
Amazingly enough, I did it.
Here’s a bit of the story:

DoodleBearDoodleCat3DoodleBearDoodleCat4DoodleBearDoodleCat5DoodleBearDoodleCat10DoodleBearDoodleCat11DoodleBearDoodleCat8DoodleBearDoodleCat9DoodleBearDoodleCat12
I’m ridiculously proud of myself for having made it. But I will never try anything like this ever again. No matter how great the story, or how simple the illustrations. I have found my limit.
While making these, my sleep has consisted mostly of power naps. It’s not even anything new. I’ve been awake much more than I’d like to for this whole year. And I don’t think I’ve had a single day off for about 18 months now. It’s something I’ve been handling pretty well so far, and it feels good to get so much done, but I think it’s time for a break. I’m noticing myself becoming more forgetful, and especially more emotional. So that’s probably a good sign to slow myself down. Probably, my choice here is either slowing down, or a wall-smash-stop in the near future, and the latter is not preferable.
So, for anyone thinking about hiring me for anything, you are more than welcome to write me, but be prepared that it might be several weeks before I’m ready to take on a new project.
For now I’ll be getting through the commissions I have left, and spend more time on my personal projects. But most of all, I’ll put my focus on the vegetable garden, the chickens and the workshop, and most of all – my bed.

Good night!

Baby bear

Here’s a commission I finished just a day ago. It went almost ridiculously fast and easy, because I pretty much had free range with it. The only instruction was that a human mom is trying to feed an angry baby bear. And here’s what I came up with:
BabyBear.jpgI did a lot of things here that I haven’t done before. No, wait, sorry. Actually, it was only three things..
I guess the biggest one was to make an animal with another facial expression than neutral. That was pretty new, and a lot of fun.
The color scheme was new as well. Sure, I do a lot of brown and yellow, but that blue-green color is new and I can’t believe I didn’t discover this mix before. I love it!
Another thing I haven’t discovered before is how the whole thing looks so much more fairytale-ish when I just do those rounded shapes on the cabinets and window. That’s yet another “why the hepp didn’t I think or this before”-moment in my life.
Well, you learn something new every day. Sometimes even three things.

Have a nice day everyone!

Embla

Gnu Poo – By Steve Wootton

I know, I know. There’s still a lot to do on this site before anyone can grasp what’s actually going on here. But I figure, the more I just do stuff, the faster I will figure out how to handle all this. Right now, I want to cover the categories, and so I want to show you some commissioned work. I think it’s suitable for the first post in this category to be about the one project I enjoyed working on the most in 2016. Actually, I think this one beats every other project I’ve ever worked on.  Well, there is this one book about swearing kids and pirates, that might be able to compete, but I’ll tell you all about that some other time.
This book is called Gnu Poo. Just imagine. I get a message from some guy who wants to pay me for drawing poo. Isn’t that just an illustrators dream? Might it be fate, that I just so happen to have a thing for gnus?

Gnupoo13.jpg
Two gnus, Hue and Stu, and Sue

I could not have dreamt of working with an author this amazing. Not only did he put in a lot of effort to make sketches for every single page, saving me a bunch of time and work. This guy, Steve Wootton, is so nice. And also really, really funny.
Most of my clients just wants the job done, fast and cheap, and no matter how long a project takes, I never really get to know anything about them. In this case however, I really enjoyed the conversations. I guess it’s hard to uphold a professional image when the talking subject is poo. But it wasn’t just that. Steve shared with me small pieces of his life,(and also links to websites where one can buy poo-earrings) which made the whole correspondance really friendly and comfortable. And I think one of the reasons that I like this book so much, is because I really like the author.

GnuPoo1.jpg

Ok, it might be a little bit because of the poo-stuff as well…
I had so much fun telling my boyfriend about how I was chatting with my boss in England about poo. He got tired of it pretty quickly, but I’m still just as excited about it.
Ok, enough ranting. I know you guys are more interested in pictures than my stories. Here are two of my favorites:
Gnupoo10.jpg
Sue has a zoo for gnus.

GnuPoo23.jpg
Stu and Hue poo in the zoo’s new loo – phew!

How lucky this book is more pictures than text! See more of it here: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/7519972-gnu-poo
And make sure to get one for your nieces, nephews, grandkids and other small people you might know. If enough people likes it enough to buy it, Steve will be able to publish even more of these hilarious stories. (like maybe a hairy fairy)

Thanks to Steve for trusting me with this project! I hope for many more!

GnuPooBackside.jpg

By the way, we spent a lot of time trying to find out how gnu poo actually looks. We never succeeded, and went with the classical poo-pile instead.
If anyone has a picture of real gnu poo. Please tell me because I am dying to know!