Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monsters at the book store

Let's set the stage here. I've been receiving a lot of feedback about my illustration portfolio, mostly in that it will likely scare the children. (As an aside, I'm in the process of completely overhauling the lot of it to eliminate those things that I've been told make it scary.)

The other day I went shopping at Barnes & Noble. I had a 20% off coupon. It was mandatory.

I saw a bit of a trend in the picture book department, and I decided to take a few photos. See if you see a pattern.

And I bought this one (isn't the lighting on the cover fantastic?):

For the record, Halloween is very much over, and the Christmas books were everywhere. Most of the books (all but two, if I remember correctly) were face forward rather than lined on the shelves.

I have to say, I had a discussion with a children's book editor over the weekend (who I won't identify here) who, when I told her most of the feedback I've been getting about my portfolio is that it's too scary, said, "Creepy is in."

I totally love that editor.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Things are not as they seem

I've decided to put an all-out effort over the next few months into illustrating promo pieces for my portfolio based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. When I thought of it, it seemed like a good idea. It meant the onus was on Lewis Carroll to tell me what my next promo illustration would be, not me.

The bigger reason I decided to do it, though, was because of all the feedback I've been getting about my illustrations.

I'd rather not elaborate.

Last night I read the first chapter ("Down the Rabbit-Hole") and came up with quite a few ideas. The problem was, I had to do some character development first, so those ideas had to wait.

The other problem was, my character development has turned out pretty sanitized. Vanilla. 50% gray.

Alice lacks that Rotty flavor that my illustrations from yesterday had. She lacks any flavor at all, to be honest. I'm afraid I'm trying to draw what I think somebody else wants, not what I want. Of course, that's entirely the case, but if I want to get work (and I do) I need to give them what they want.

But I'm sure sanitization isn't it.

Back to the drawing board.