So this new project began when I was contacted by an Author, (we'll just say for the sake of privacy, instead of his real name) who found my work in the SCBWI Illustrator's Gallery. He was looking for an artist to illustrate a book he plans to self-publish, and my style fit his story perfectly!
So the story is an early reader/chapter book geared toward third to fifth graders, and it's about the water cycle! Very educational and fun, and the main character is cute too. I'm extremely happy drawing from nature, though with my cutesy (I guess that's the word for it) flair and a comic-y graphic novel touch, the project will be super fun to work on!
Author and I began with a copyright contract to protect our work, and then he shared some of his manuscript so that I could come up with a few sketches to see if our stuff would match. Here are my Sample Art sketches, though I omitted the text:
|Character Study, © Melanie Linden Chan 2011|
|Cover/Title Page, © Melanie Linden Chan 2011|
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011
|Sample comic spread,|
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011
What I sent was really rough, (it obviously needs lots of work) but we were both pleased with the direction in which it was going. And we've decided that markers are not the way to go- pen and ink will be much nicer. Now I am working on what I call a "Sample Finish," which is a fully colored and finished double-page spread that I illustrate without much influence from the Author other than his manuscript and illustration notes. It is due in about 10 days from now, and only then will I reveal it to the Author. (Actually, I might show him right before I ink it, just to be sure.)
I think this is an important step because it teaches me what questions to ask before I draw, thus saving time, and it also helps the Author to trust my artist's instincts and perhaps it will create for an even smoother partnership. This Sample Finish may or may not be included the final edit of the book- there are always many things that change over the course of a book's creation. However, it will show the both of us the results of our combined efforts to prove whether our talents are compatible or not. (And so far, it looks like they are from where I'm sitting!)
Once I complete the Sample Finish, I will come up with a price quote for the entire books project based upon the time and amount of work the illustration needed, and I will submit both to the Author. He will review everything and if both the price and the art are what he is looking for...
then, my friends...
...then we sign a contract and I've got myself an illustration job! (tee hee!)
Of course I am calling it Project#4 because that's the next number in the lineup, but it is currently my Top Priority. And if all goes well and I do get the job, I won't be able to share every single bit (in order to protect the story from Story Snatchers), however I plan to post regular updates and snippets and fun things!
I'm really excited, though I know not to count my chickens before they hatch... so, would you all cross your fingers for me? Because I can't... I need mine for drawing!