Writing Update JAN 2016

Plans for this year are to complete Book 2 of the Starseeker series and produce several illustrated children’s books. The projected writing and illustration schedule is intense and will depend on my ability to FOCUS.

THANK YOU to all the readers and friends who have supported my journey into the world of writing and fiction in general. This should be a fun and interesting year that I’m truly looking forward to.

Comments can be sent at the bottom of my blog.

KidLit Creature Week

https://i2.wp.com/www.birchtreepub.com/kcw/images/KCWbadge2016.jpg

http://www.birchtreepub.com/kcw/   Hosted by Henry Hers

The annual KIDLIT CREATURE WEEK 2016, an artistic collaboration starting February 1. Prior to that, illustrators are encouraged to submit an illustration to their online gallery of monsters, creatures & other imaginary beasts suitable for children’s literature. View last year’s event. LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN!

Submit before 1/15/16 an image of any creature you’ve illustrated. It need not have been traditionally published, nor created specifically for KCW. “Creature” is defined in this context as any sentient being not found in nature, e.g. dragon, ninja rabbit, muppet, talking crayon, elf, and so on. The artwork may be in any media, but submit a 72 dpi JPEG no more than 7″ wide and 5″ high.

1. Paste the small KCW participant badge on your website, with a link to the KCW website.
2. Email me your JPEG with the info listed below (Oscar shown for illustrative purposes). By submitting, you are agreeing to these terms.

  • Creature Name & Genus: Oscar the Grouch
  • Home: Garbage can
  • Personality: Grumpy. Just wants to be left alone.
  • Appears in book(s): Grouches are Green, Sesame Street Grouchy Hugs (not required)
  • Link: link to the book or your website
  • Your name

3 STEPS to Become a Better Illustrator

GOALS

What specifically do you want to produce?

MARKET – What markets do you hope to sell work to? Define general format(s) for work.

FORMAT – What will the final dimensions need to be? Large Photoshop image files can be made smaller and be converted to JPEG or other formats. Hand drawn or painted work can be scanned if elements are no larger than your scanner bed. For consistent line quality in assembled work, elements should be produced in the same comparative scale as they will appear in the Photoshoped image. Scan at 400 dpi or higher. Purchase a larger scanner if you prefer to work large and have lots of storage on your hard drive.

STYLE – Not a pale imitation of what is already – Boldly work in a manner that is natural. First RESEARCH – Study the work of current illustrators you enjoy to determine what styles of work appeal to you most. Then DEVELOP A STYLE – Combined the appealing aspects of works you observed that are harmonious with your natural manner of drawing.

CRAFTSMANSHIP

Make work you like to see from others?

STANDARD – Always ask yourself – How does your current project help you meet this goal? Is the work compelling & well executed enough to be part of a portfolio of quality work? Push yourself to maintain a high standard and not to settle for mediocre – your customers won’t.

WOW FACTOR – Become inspired and excited as you create to produce awesome work with a depth of universal insight that visually carries the viewer beyond the realm of the ordinary.

IMPROVE – Be happy with current work but always look for how to improve. Focus on any weakness you wish and consciously practice to improve.

EXPERIMENT – continue to explore new media & techniques to keep work fresh and interesting. –Allow for falling short but any attempt is a step forward. Find inspiring illustrations that challenge your studies to learn by observation. You are in competition only with yourself and you are winning with every stroke you make.

 

PRODUCTION

Create fixed Routine & Attack the Day!

ANNUAL PLAN

In your ideal future, what will you produce in 1,3, or 5 years? Break the years into quarters and define the steps to your goal and their order. Don’t make it too easy or hard, but it should be a challenge. BREAK DOWN STEPS into months and then specific actions into weeks and days. Set DAILY GOALS in a weekly planner.

PRODUCTIVE DAY

Keep a quantitative daily goal in mind – work materials should all be easily found and organized.

Avoid distraction – turn off social media, TV, phone, radio – Become Focused!

Plan Day – What is happening ? Find the passion! Take a moment to be inspired – a few favorite illustrations / notes on current project / Focus on your spiritual and physical goals. Stay positive and keep super motivated.

Daily Checklist – write a list of intentions for the day – Is work compelling and inspired?

Work in Blocks of 60-90 minutes – with 5-10 minute Breaks – Break for meals and relaxation to clear your mind and stay energized but not for too long. Keep it flexible.

Get plenty of rest and start fresh each day.

Keep it Fun! Toot your horn – converse with a puppet or your other self. You can even plan rewards for yourself when you reach your goals.

Now – Stop writing about it and get to work!

Interview: Diane Gronas, Author and Illustrator

Thank you Dayne, It was a pleasure to interview with you.

Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

Today I welcome Diane Gronas, author and illustrator of “Starseeker: the Flower of Tameroon.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.48.49 PMI am interviewing Diane today, so more readers can hear about her exciting book. I gave Diane a 5 star review on Amazon because I loved reading about the lives of Annie and her teenage friends living in a future world. There’s a lot of action and romance in this thriller! 

Synopsis: In a distant future, Annie lives alone with her aunt in a high-rise refugee tower as the world around her turns to ice. The Starfire that once warmed the regions of the twelve kingdoms is failing. There is little to do in her cramped quarters and she spends far more time with star charts and flight simulation than what is required for any shuttle pilot. Uncle Jordan has become her mentor and tutors her and the prince of Treya; soon to be crowned heir apparent at the royal ball. Annie dreams of…

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