April Already

April already!

Easter is right around the corner already. So I figured this is a good time to bring up a project that’s been in the works for, quite embarrassingly… years.
But before that, I do have to mention my Mom.
Mom is a good writer and has a poetic voice of her own, and a long time ago she used to write yearly holiday letters to the extended family that included the latest and greatest doings of our immediate family. A year in review.
At the end of these letters she would include a poem she had written, usually Christmas related, that she’d write in her free time while her and Dad raised myself and my two older brothers.

Wonderfully paced and heartwarming words that, now looking back on these letters, would make anyone’s day anytime of the year.
One particular poem she wrote was about the Christmas Story; and the witness of a miracle. But it was written in the perspective of a shepherd boy alongside his father, following the star to Bethlehem. It’s a great retelling of this night about the birth of Jesus.

Mom, knowing me so well, planted the seed early to encourage me to illustrate this poem of hers. I think it was sometime in 2014 when she asked me to illustrate her poem into a picture book. This is around the time I was doing very crudely drawn silly one panel joke comics. Picture books were not on the mind just yet.

I did about 400 or so of these types of one panel comics. It was fun! I admire the ones that do it so well.

Fast forward some years, having babysat my nephews and seeing my niece, being around them really inspired me to pursue picture book illustration.
So this Mom and Son project is what’s currently at the forefront of my daily routine lately. First, I “dummy’d” up her poem, (dummy is a word that publishers use and is just a silly word that replaces “sketched”) and I do want to mention I had wonderful help along the way during this dummy process. Help from peers on forums at SVS Learn, Giuseppe at the Illustration Department and my art friends where we would critique over skype. But ultimately Mom is the editor haha.
That’s ok because this project is a learning process for me. It’s her poem too. I’m just happy to be a part of it. Took me some time to get on board but here we are.

This is the opening spread of Mom and Son project. Still adding to it. Name of book is pending.

The goal is to have final art ready by Mid July for printers.
So writing this out now and here, is holding myself to it.
Once the book is printed Mom wants to donate some books to her church, and to sell some books too of course.

Up until July, I’ll write up more blogs about the actual process and the headaches I’ve come across along the way. All fun headaches of course.


See you then.
TRA

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