An Exciting New Project

7.24.2012

Hi! How is everybody? Just wanted to stop and chat a bit and update you guys on where things are at with me personally.

I've stopped doing the custom wedding invitation thing (thanks for all your support). As much as I loved meeting all the couples and working with my hands on the paper and embellishments, it was very labor intensive and I wasn't making much money:( So, for about the last 9 months or so, I've just been a stay-at-home Mom (my favorite gig so far!)....and blogger, of course. I've loved the freedom and extra time to myself that came along with giving up that side business. I'm completely happy with that decision, but I've also recently been wondering if, creatively, I am supposed to be doing something other than coloring with Maura:) I was sort of at a crossroads, until something completely out of the blue fell in my lap.


A good family friend (Lisa of Life in Dar...she currently lives in Tanzania - yes, I mean Africa!!! - with her husband and 2 adorable kids) recently got in touch. She and her hubs have written a children's book (it has always been a dream/goal of theirs to do together) and they asked me to illustrate it!! Say what?!

I went to school for Illutsration...earned a BFA in it from Syracuse University (coincidentally, Lisa attended SU too). But my first job was in product design and then I became a 3D animator, so I never really totally did the illustrator thing. It was the farthest thing from my mind when I started thinking about what (if anything) I was meant to be doing with myself and my free time. (Did I just say free time? Lol. I have a toddler...and a blog. That's funny!!) But after a lot of thought, tons of emails back and forth to Africa, and chats with some of my creative/live hard-play hard kinda friends, I decided to go for it!! I'm so thankful to Lisa and her husband Kristoffer for wanting me to be a part of this adventure.


So, I'm about to illustrate my first children's book  (its a very different Santa Claus story - so fun)!!! I've been published a few times before, but nothing this huge. (Worked with a local author before on a couple of her books...my favorite piece was one of those maps you see at the beginning of a book that shows you where all the locations and events mentioned inside are! I'm the nerd that always flips back and forth to the map while reading to get my bearings!) I'm really, really excited...and nervous...and scared out of my mind!! How cool/surreal would it be to someday be in this stack?!

We don't have a publisher yet, our plan is to shop it around and then if no one bites/worst case, self-publish. If you don't mind my asking (we can use all the help we can get in making this thing a reality), have any of you been involved in something like this before? Do you know anything about publishing your own book? Have any contacts in the publishing world?

On a side note...what are some of your favorite children's books? Have any favorite illustrators whose work I can check out?

Any of you guys starting out on a new path? Inspire me with your success stories:) And thanks in advance for understanding while I juggle this new work load with this ol' blog here!!!

17 comments:

  1. Wow Sarah, that is amazing! Congratulations!

    One of my son's favorite books is the Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. Not sure if you've read it, but he and Maura are almost the same age. great story, and amazing illustrations!

    Wishing you lots of luck in this adventure. Looking forward to an update on your progress!

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  2. Wow, that is such a neat project. An illustrator for children's books, so cool.

    Maurice Sendak of course. And also Jon J. Muth of Zen Shorts, Peter McCarty- Hondo and Fabian, and lastly Carson Ellis Wonderwood illustator.

    I am a fairly new follower and am really excited to watch this happen for you1

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  3. Wow! That is awesome, Sarah! What a truly amazing opportunity and experience. Seriously- I would buy your book today if it were out! Definitely keep us posted on the book progress.
    I agree with you in that there isn't much money to be made in custom invitations. I love doing it for friends and family, but I don't think I could ever make a business out of it. My artwork/ads have been published a lot in church architecture magazines. It was pretty sweet the first time, and I still enjoy opening them up and seeing them. I bet it's nothing like being published in children's book, though- what a dream that would be!
    Good luck and congrats!

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  4. YAY YAY YAY! Your blog just made my day :) We are so excited that you will bring our story to life! It's a great adventure for all of us!

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  5. Pioneer Woman wrote a long and detailed blog post when she published her children's book. Of course, it was the other way around in her case -- she wrote the story and an illustrator created the art. But it's a really interesting read about the collaborative process between author and illustrator.

    Twenty Steps to Writing a Children's Book

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  6. Sarah, I'm BEYOND thrilled for you! How exciting and what an excellent opportunity. And I love learning more about you and your background - I had no idea you were an illustrator. I noticed a few influential pins here and there but I didn't really think anything of it :) Children's books have such a fond place in my heart. My Mom has always been big into books with us from a small age. She even worked at my school library when I was in grade school. Chris Van Allsburg will always be a favorite. One of my all time favorite books is Corduroy. I also love the illustrations of Eloise Wilkins - are you familiar with her? My Mom got me a book of her stories as a shower gift. One of my favorite books growing up was "We Help Mommy" and that's included in the book. Sheila loves it now too :) I also love the Olivia drawings. I really hope Sheila likes the Olivia books in a few years. She likes the show now I just need to get her into the book. I can also put a feeler post to the PSMM group that I'm a part of - I believe there are a few women who published books in the group and they might have some good contacts for you. So excited for you Sarah! Make sure you share more.

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  7. congratulations, how much fun!!! can't wait to see it come to life!

    Meg

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  8. Oh my goodness, Sarah, SO happy for you! Congratulations on this great opportunity. I know it's going to open so many doors. Wish I had some publishing advice for you, but about children's books I know next to nothing. Of course, I'll be getting an education in the next few years though ;-)

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  9. What an AMAZING opportunity! And, it sounds like so much fun :). I am so excited to see the final product!

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  10. Aw, you guys are the best!!! Thank you all so much for your support and for believing that I can do this!!! I will definitely be keeping you updated as things go along. So glad to hear you are all interested in the process, etc. Thank you for being such great friends!

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  11. This is such exciting news!!! I had no idea you were an illustrator! I'm so jealous, I wish I could do that! I can't wait to follow along as this all unfolds. What an awesome adventure! My favorite kid's books are all vintage and I love quirky illustrations the best. I posted about them here:
    http://honeyandfitz.blogspot.com/2011/12/frameworthy-vintage-kids-books.html#axzz21TjQHNA5

    Congrats again!

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  12. Congratulations on the new adventure - I think your illustrations will be perfect for a children's book and I can't wait to see the end result! xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

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  13. What a fantastic opportunity! Congratulations, Sarah! How many people can say that their dream job just fell in their lap?!? Lol. That's so cool :)

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  14. Sarah! That is amazing!!!! Congrats on your new endeavor I'm sure it will all work out according to plan and I will be in line to buy that book! Although I am sad you have moved on from the invitations I can proudly say I have 2 original designs...I might need you to autograph one ha ha!!

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  15. Ooh, I love that cover, and it sounds good! Really good. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. SARAH!! You are a rock star!!!

    Well, more like famous book illustrator. That is so amazing and exciting. I can't believe how behind I am in my blog reading.

    I hope you will share the process with us I can't wait to see your work. Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

    :)
    :)
    :)

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  17. Hey, so I just read this and CONGRATS! Perfect job for you! Anyway I have a friend who is a publisher and she's VERY local. Let me know and I'll give you her info.

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