I know. It’s been a long time since I posted but I have a solid reason for it, I swear. I’m officially 25 pages into my second book! It’s not a whole lot but hey, it’s a start. (I’m also working on an 8.5x11 document so it’ll end up equating to 40 pages or so.) I completed rough image renderings of the characters today, and can’t wait to begin painting. Not only are they as abstract as the illustrations from Wounded Wisteria, they’re more intricate and revealing. I was extremely insecure during the illustration process of my first book, as I never considered myself an artist. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to hire an illustrator, so I was forced to create them myself with a children’s watercolor set from Target. True story.
When the book was published, I received more comments about the illustrations than the text itself. The whole experience was basically me screaming “Hey, I just wrote an entire book in verse!” and everyone else going “Okay cool but we really like this bird with the monocle!” Funny how that works. And while I still criticize my own art sometimes, these results made me realize how silly it was that I was afraid to share it. Sure, I probably could have had better illustrations by hiring someone, but they wouldn’t have been mine.
I am so glad I was too broke to find an illustrator. I’m even more glad my already-too-generous mother didn’t offer me extra money to hire one. Most of all, I’m glad the obstacle pushed me to create the art myself instead of not doing it at all. I’ve learned my lesson, and when this second book gets published, I’ll be sure to not chicken out on including an “Illustrated By”. Not only am I no longer afraid to share my artwork, I’m excited to, because they’re part of a story that I want to tell.
And yes, I’m still using the same watercolor set.