Saturday, March 10, 2012

Santaland Revisited

Restoring my Parisian inspired illustrations to their original state this past week caused me to ponder just how far astray they roamed.

The initial verbal agreement was to create illustrations for an 11x11 children's book. Knowing myself full well and my normal tendency to draw way beyond the border I cut specific paper for this project allowing no room for overflow.

And draw I did, learning how to put legs and antlers on reindeer that looked whimsical yet real. Giving a jolliness to Santa that pleased me and my always helpful but honest judge, Donny. The body of work looked really good.

Back in the states and issues with the author and token support from the editor aside for the purpose of this post, I learned that the book was now reduced by an inch all around. Disheartening but still workable from the aspect of the impact of the illustrations.

Then after negotiating (thanks Holly!) and signing a contract that protected the art satisfactorily, I learned that the book was not a square any longer but a rectangle and smaller still. The drawings done were not meant for a smaller children's book. I would have done completely different illustrations for such a small book. Totally different illustrations. You might be able to reduce drawings for an adult book (which I knew was the real market for this book) and still keep your audience but children demand more to keep their attention.

And so the lesson learned is to include the book size in all illustration contracts, or if the publisher insists that the size be changed in any way, sufficient time be allowed for redraw. Non-negotiable.

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