It has been a long time since I haunted the halls of publishing houses. I walked away from that world with good reason. There is so much that comes with it beyond creating artwork. It can be a world of constant selling to and negotiating with corporations. That ain’t me. My new course was sailing full-on towards other creative outlets.
Then came Jan. My wife introduced us so I might blame her. Jan is exactly who you might picture in a fantasy for your child. Let me set a scene: A tiny, loving, older woman with glasses, shortish grey hair, and a voice that smiles is sitting in an overstuffed chair reading a story to your child. Her soft English accent almost makes you long for the next word. Both you and your child are so into the story you hope it never ends. I double-dog dare you to resist that woman, no matter what she asks of you.
We met up at a local cafe to talk. She wanted my help with something, or maybe just some advice on a project. I had no idea Jan’s totally disarming, utterly friendly exterior hid a relentless negotiator. Not only do I find out she is an author, but she has a book. Not only a book but a children’s book. Not only a children’s book but a good one that needs illustrations. Man, she is deadly. Any dream that I had any sort of negotiating skills, or any ability with “handling expectations” went right out the window. The campaign went from “Please read this story and give me your feedback” to me agreeing to illustrate it without my even noticing. All before her tea even got cold. Now there’s talk of a series of books. I know what could come of this and I STILL agreed? Something is wrong with me. Isn’t this where I came in?
Anyway, here are some sketches I’m working on for Jan’s book. It needs to be in the mail to the publisher shortly so I’ll be sitting here drawing if you need me. Let the process begin!