Saturday, July 12, 2008

After many a cross thought

I settled in to working again on Starlight and trying to see it anew. Muttering useful things under my breath about publishers not looking at work properly and waiting 4 months to come back and ask for it all to be changed I pulled out a layout pad, something I have never used before, and tried to work again on making a character for the book. The roughs in posts below show the development.
I emailed the sketches to James and we talked at length and it was like getting the best crit you could ever have, the kind of thing I had hoped art college would be like but never was. He is so excellent a person to work with.
Then it was time to wait again, having emailed the sketches to the publisher. So I started painting a dragon. Tell me a Dragon is about 2 years, maybe 3, behind its delivery date, partly because Snow leopard stepped in and was published before it. Now I have to finish all the art for Dragon by October which means a dragon a week. So I painted dragons and waited to hear and then on return from walking the dogs one morning had a very positive phone message from the publisher saying yes, much better and thank you.
And it is much better, more confident, and I wasn't going to tell them that. So now all I have to do is try and translate the sketches into finished art. And finish the dragon.


dragonladych said...

Oh I feel your pain! It's not very encouraging to see that everyone else is having the same problems. But I knew all this when I decided to go into illustration.

I just had to start over two drawings because the author rewrote the entire book! I hope that it'll finally get published now.

Yay, for Dragons!

Magic Cochin said...

I used to be the person whose job it was to get back to the illustrator after a heated discussion with author and commissioning ed and marketing and Uncle Tome Cobbly and All in which it was decided that the liked it, but... sometimes I used to feel physically sick at the thought of facing the illustrator with some of the requests for changes!

Good luck with the dragons Jackie and the new Starlight.


paula said...

Hello, been catching up with everyone and I'm glad you're feeling more confident about Starlight. (it looks beautiful).

Lately I felt similar to you.. I am trying to paint a new picture for *an exhibition* but it keeps going wrong... I want it to be my best work, and my agent is helping me achieve that, so I am about to start painting it a 3rd time - fingers crossed! (it's becoming a weekly event in my house)

And I think the key is trying to see it anew when you've been working on something for a while. But then, when it comes to painting something a 3rd time, don't you feel scared to even put your paintbrush on the paper in case it goes wrong again!?


June said...

I feel sure that now you have gained confidence, the dragons will all be flowing beautifully.

Delays and doubts are the worst kind of thing to deal with when you want to be getting on with painting.
Good luck with getting the work going smoothly.

Marie said...

Gosh, Jackie - after all this time , reading your Gingers', I had not really read this blog, and it is so interesting (and beautiful) to see your process - I LOVE seeing how people work). A dragon a week.

I thought I had problems, :-)!

ruthie said...

Your work is so beautiful! I love the composition and design, use of colour etc.... best stop right there. Its inspiring to read your blog. Good luck with the dragons.

Erzsabet Art said...

Hallo Jackie
I hope you won't mind me commenting here, but I hadn't seen any of your work until yesterday, when I bought some of your beautiful cards at St. David's (Cathedral Shop). I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am - you are sooo talented! I dabble with watercolours and other media, but am nowhere near as good as you!! Adoration over now!
Will be keeping up with the Starlight blog, and also the cat's blog, which is lovely and makes me smile(I am owned by a cat and two dogs). Thanks for cheering me up!

cassia said...


I've known your gorgeous work for some time, but I just stumbled across your blog. I love both! Please write again soon- I want to know what happened next! Your blog is like the story behind the story and I'm riveted!

I lived in Haverfordwest a couple of years back and visited St Davids a fair few times- I'm gutted I never saw your work in the flesh.

Also, a strange coincidence is that I know James- I was one of those graduating MA students he spoke of and he was one of my fab tutor's!

I hope whatever you're working on now is going well and wish you the best of luck with everything. Please come back and tell us all about it soon!:0)