It’s been a while! Things have been busy around here, switching jobs notwithstanding, but I wanted to give a shout out that my new children’s book, a collaboration with Jorge Eduardo Sanclemente, is now available for purchase! You can read more about it at Bright Bird Press, in the press release, and at the Lulu product page. I’ll have a portfolio page up soon.
This project began as a short story I wrote back in November 2011. It was a cold evening, and I was in my home office listening to a Powerpuff Girls cassette tape, and a Fats Waller cassette tape I had bought at the Central Ohio Jazz Society. It was the perfect mix of happy, fun, bouncy music that sparked my child-imagination. I jumped from my desk and busted out some solo Charleston moves, or pretended I was Beatrice and wriggled around like I was five.
I’ve been told Beatrice looks like me, and there might be a reason for that: I posed for her dance moves. During our lunch breaks (Jorge and I were co-workers at the time), I demonstrated different Charleston moves. Jorge did a fantastic job capturing the energy of the dance, and the infectious enthusiasm of Beatrice. His process began with drawing sketches in pencil, then scanning them into his computer for clean up and coloring in Photoshop. Aren’t you loving the watercolor style?
I couldn’t be more proud of this little project.
I’d suggest this book for readers aged 5 and older. 5-years-old children probably need help from a parent, guardian, or older sibling. 7-years-old children can probably handle this on their own.
We decided to publish on Lulu because they allow for split royalties… making for much easier taxes if this book takes off. Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Blurb, etc, don’t allow for split royalties so if you collaborate with someone, you have to pay out and hope everyone is honest with each other about that 50/50 split.
Just got an update from Jorge, the illustrator about our children’s book! He sent me the image below to give me a taste of the style he’s going for. I think Beatrice’s cape should be a brighter color since she’s a little kid, or the background needs to be more vibrant… something. I like how her metal isn’t too shiny, though. She still looks kind of soft despite being a robot, which is awesome.
Anyway, that’s a quick update on Beatrice’s Possible Impossible! I’ll try to update sometime soon about how I created the graphics for the Swing Columbus fundraiser that helped our performance team get all the way to Iowa City, IA (and win the team division competition).
I mentioned I’m working on a storybook with my coworker, Jorge, and that I would share a teaser with you. Today is that day! For some background, back in August 2011 I was talking to Jorge about my collaboration with Charlene McBride on the Sketchnote Field Guide. He mentioned he has always wanted to illustrate a book, and that we should work on a project together if I was interested.
Well, of course I was interested! I promised Jorge we would start the storybook when I was wrapping up the sketchnote collaboration. We decided we wanted the book to be for ages 5 – 7, which according to the how-to books, meant no more than 1000 words for the written story.
It is a story about Beatrice, a little robot who is good at learning all sorts of things but can’t figure out how to learn how to dance. We are calling it Beatrice’s Possible Impossible. I emailed the story to Jorge, and he was so inspired he emailed the sketches I’m sharing below. Aren’t they ADORABLE?
And as a teaser for the prose…
Beatrice was proud of all the things she could do now that she couldn’t do before. But one day, she saw her next door neighbor, Melvin, do something she still didn’t know how to do… dance!
“Mom,” Beatrice said at breakfast the next morning, “I’m going to learn how to dance.”
“That sounds like a fun thing to learn! How are you going to learn how to dance?” Beatrice’s mom asked.
“I found a book,” Beatrice said, holding it up so her mom could see it. “I’m going to read how.”
Really excited to see this project move forward!