I’ve got a better system for organization now (i.e., making sure I know exactly what I'm working on the next day before I go to bed each night), so I’m better prepared when I wake in the morning to attack the most important piece of my project. Who'd have thought it would take me until I was 37 to come up with that brilliant plan?
This is a learning experience for me each day, and that is part of what makes me love it so much. I’ve done more than 20 watercolor illustrations for this book so far, and I assumed that 20 would be all I needed. For the first time in my life, I was wrong.
The idea with these book submissions is not to send books that I believe cannot be improved; I want to work with editors to make these books the best they can become so that they have the greatest chance of getting into the most readers' hands.
I think it's important to finish this book so that I can get on to the next book in the Pinky Panda Bear series and learn from the mistakes I made on the first one so that I can write and illustrate each successive book better than the previous one. It will also allow me to come back and do this first one better if that is something that a press requires or if I look at it in the future and just can't stand the way it turned out.
The early Berenstain Bears books have been a good model for me. There is a very clear progression in the comfort that they gained over the course of the series. Thank you, Stan and Jan Berenstain, for being fearless and continuing to improve your writing and illustrations and showing that trying to perfect the same thing for your entire life is one way to live, but that another way to live is to produce work that helps you to produce better work the next time (and that you don't need to be afraid to share your work with the world even if it is not as good as you'd imagined it would be).
I recently discovered that after this most recent Apple Pages update that my ipad Pro (or anyone's iPad that has Pages) is now capable of doing everything I need to publish a book: from draft to publication (ebook and physical). I choose to do my illustrating in Clip Studio Paint (when not using physical media), but theoretically one could draw right into Pages. That’s good news for me because I am hoping to move more and more toward digital as time goes on. But for now, I am finishing this book the way I started it: watercolor and ink. And for whatever reason, I've become hooked on watercolors, so I'll be painting that way for as long as I can.
I'm working on my sample cover today, and as far as I can tell the book is done, done, done. I'm excited to share it with Shannon and Maddie, and excited to send it off to Immedium Press before I start my next project.
Here is the Igor the Elephant illustration from yesterday. He's looking at the roof of his house that fell off his head when he yawned.
Poor guy; Igor’s the Eeyore of elephants.