I’ve been wanting to do a post about my little picture book adventure. Time, however, was not and possibly never will be necessarily agreeable. So I will steal this moment and make it agreeable.
“The One Sock Princess”, is dear to my heart. Not just the story, but the fact that I pulled the pictures from my mind and put them on paper. It could be that a connection between my mind and my hand finally unblocked itself for more than just words. I discovered in 1998 that I could draw. Rather well too, but (with me, there is always a ‘but’) I could only draw what I saw. I don’t know if I could impose upon you just how frustrating that can be to a person who ‘feels’ everything. If I could connect my imagination to a projector and the pictures come out as I feel they should–the world would be in for a ride!
While visiting my sister-in-law and her family in New York one chilly spring, an idea came to me just from watching her constantly looking for her daughter’s sock. I wrote in my notepad and just let it be. Ideas come, but sometimes they must stew a bit before I realize what to do with them. I thought to find an artist to help interpret them, but something nagged at me. I’m an artist. I’m an artist who needs to push herself into realizing potential. No more excuses! How can I tell people to go for what they want, that they can do anything when I don’t follow that advice. The fact is, I can do anything. My mother never told me I couldn’t. She never told me I could, but then she expected me to do anything—she always knew I could. Sometimes, you don’t need words to tell you someone’s thoughts. I sat down and told myself that I would draw the illustrations. It might take me a while and I had no clue as to where to begin, but I had a story. So, I checked out some ‘how to draw’ sites and I began. First came the Princess, then the cat (I am quite partial to cats) and then….
Then I decided to have a bit of fun. I needed to show how much Keely’s tears was ‘drenching’ the castle. So what better way than a floating book…a floating book with a self promotion!! The book the cat is on, is an actual book of mine. “Tyme’s Hope” was my second picture book. With a bit of Photo Shopping, it fit in just nicely.
Next came the ‘text pages’. I like simple and don’t mind plain at times, but picture books are rather costly to have printed. I normally ‘eat’ some of the cost when I sell these because I can’t bring myself to charge a huge amount. I am mother and I know how hard money is to come by so I try to make my books affordable or at least give you your money’s worth. Why must text pages be plain or must they be mixed in with the picture page? No, they don’t on both accounts.
My first picture book had the text mixed in with the picture. I did not sketch the illustrations, but I did do the inking/coloring. Since this was to be my first ‘full’ illustration endeavor then I wanted to keep it as simple, yet full, as possible. So then came the idea of the cat silhouette, though it wasn’t really as simple as ‘then came the idea’. No, several ideas came and thankfully passed before I came up with it.
I choose a ‘curly’ type font and made it as big as I could (well, as big as it could be and still fit in the ‘cat’s head’). I wanted to give it depth, so I choose different sizes and placed them randomly. I chose to use one of the heads to frame the page number as well. I am not good with symmetrics so I actually, ‘copied’ the ‘good’ side of the cat’s head and then aligned it up on the other side and ‘pasted’ it. It might be considered cheating, but I thought myself rather clever anyway.
Of course, I gave it an added touch–I placed one of my poems at the beginning. I enjoy creating poems as much as I do story. So there we have it.