Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Book That Almost Was

For me, 2012 was an important year, full of excitement and heartache. From winter 2011 to winter 2012, I poured my heart into a wonderful children’s book project that was ultimately canceled. After all that hard work, the book would never be published. I was devastated and completely disheartened. Shortly after that, my nephew was born and I went to live with my brother for over half a year to lend a hand. I threw myself into distraction, hid away everything related to the book, and just tried to move on.

Looking back, there are things I wish I’d done differently, but I learned a great deal from the experience and I’ve finally come to a point where I feel comfortable with sharing a piece of it. I did not write the story, and because of that I can’t share the entirety of the work that I did on the project, but I would like to share with you a few highlights.

Here are some pieces that were not quite (but very nearly) completed—

Just about everything else was in the final stages of sketches and color studies—

Here are a some of the very earliest character sketches from the project—

And some photos of my workspace while painting—

This is only a small fraction of the work, which consisted of numerous thumbnails, notes, changes, sketches, color studies, and mock-ups. I worked with an amazing editor who believed and trusted in my abilities, and I sincerely hope that I will get another chance to work with someone like her again. Despite the fact that the book was never completed, I still feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction now when I look back at everything that I accomplished in that year.

All this is to say that I’m not giving up on children’s books.

I’ve had a taste of it, and I know it’s something that I want to do. Whether it's someone else's story or my own, I am ready to try again. Right now I’m working on a few things of my own, and though writing is difficult, I’m trying. I’m giving it all I have.