Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Apparently a release date is kind of a slushy thing that happens over the course of a few months, but today is the OFFICIAL release of One Odd Day, by Dani Sneed and Doris Fisher, illustrated by Karen Lee (that's me, just in case...). What a wild ride this has been - some tedious, ratcheting uphill climbs, some breathtaking decents, twists, turns, then flying into the finish. My hair is a mess.
Buy the book! It's fun. It's funny. It has educational value. And the art is really good. Go to a Book Sense Independent bookstore and order it (we like Quail Ridge Books and Music here in Raleigh), go to Sylvan Dell Publishing's web site, or order it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon (they claim you can already buy it used!). Just order it!
Monday, August 28, 2006
I began my professional art career, well, seems like ages ago. My husband and I, as week long art school alumni, went to the big city to look for work. I was offered two jobs; one at an illustration studio (before they became extinct) for $12,000.00 a year, and the other at a storyboarding studio for $13,000 a year. Whoo-yah, I went for the money. I spent the next fourteen years doing storyboards both at the studio, then as a freelancer. The skills I learned during that time were invaluable, but something I took for granted until just recently. I drew every day under deadline. My job was to make some magic happen without the benefit of waiting for inspiration to strike. Rather than losing precious time looking for reference, I learned to draw straight from my imagination. I had to think sequentially, logically, be consistent with my characters and setting. These are skills I use now every single day as a picture book artist. And just to show how far I’ve come – in 2003, five years into my quest to become a children’s illustrator, twenty years after I took that job at the storyboard studio, I earned $13,000 a year as a full-time freelance illustrator. How far I’ve come.