Becoming an Illustrator (Children’s Book Illustration Contract!) ~ Part…
Exciting news–I’ve been contracted to illustrate a children’s book!
For a little background on how I went from artist-who-sells-at-craft-sales to illustrator, I guess it hearkens back to 6th grade. After an English class project in which we each wrote and illustrated our own children’s book, I got book fever and wrote and illustrated probably a dozen books over the course of middle school (and my mother has preserved all of them, whether I think they should ever see the light of day again or not).
Time passed, and such activities waned, especially in light of academic pursuits. Art was never something I considered doing in any kind of professional capacity. I majored in Languages and International Studies, with minors in French and German, and worked as seamstress in the college theatre’s costume shop. For fun, I took a few drawing and painting classes my senior year, and my professor was both an incredible artist and teacher. From there I began to get back into art (see my bio in About for more details).
In August 2017, when author/publisher Roseanna M. White put out a call for artists who would be interested in illustrating children’s books, I nearly submitted myself that very night—until I did a little research and realized how little I knew of the professional illustration business. While the internet can be a marvelous tool for research, it can also shoot down one’s dreams and confidence in a heartbeat. But later in the month, an old friend who knew nothing of the opportunity with WhiteFire Publishing told me I should be illustrating children’s books, and a couple weeks after that, my mom forwarded an email from a neighbor who also was encouraging me to illustrate. I’m getting better at recognizing when confirmations come from God—for some reason, the result almost always sends me out of my comfort zone in an opportunity that both thrills and terrifies me, proving how ill-equipped I am, and how well-equipped God is. And so after receiving that email, I completed my submission and sent it in. Little more than six months later, I was contacted with the opportunity with a book: Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree by Angela Henderson.
And that is what has been occupying my time for the past month and will continue for roughly the next four months–thoroughly acquainting myself with Isaac and his favorite tree.
Since the illustration process is new to me, I plan on chronicling my experiences (ideally once a month), so keep an eye out for more posts!
Part 1: Becoming an Illustrator
Part 2: The Initial Contact
Part 3: First Round of Sketches
Part 4: Edits and Color Roughs
Part 5: Final Artwork
Part 6: The Final Product, or: THE BOOK!