Misadventures in Illustration

I want to illustrate children's books.  I always have.  I want to create images that will let a kid sit and pour over them - wondering if such a magical place could exist. I want to wander into a bookstore and see one of my drawings beaming out at me from a handsome and well-thought display.

I've tried to come up with ideas for books.  I'm just not confident enough in my writing skills to do it.  All my ideas have a tendency to be a little bit... derivative, to say the least. Take the illustration to the right, her name is Ms. Anita D. Venture (Ms. A. D. Venture, i.e. misadventure - clever, right?)  I thought I could build stories around her being a substitute teacher who leads her classes into crazy adventure filled with high jinx - all learning lessons as they go along.  So original, right?  So creative, right?  Then a friend was like, "You mean like Miss Frizzle.  From Magic School Bus?" Fuck.  Yes.  That's exactly what I mean.

It's a cool enough illustration.  Well rendered in Prismacolor & ink.  Plenty of detail to tell the story.  And the character design isn't bad.  She's fun, she's hip.  She could probably make some pretty great things happen.  But the problem is...she's not original.  She didn't bring anything new to the table.  She'll be beaming at no one from a handsome bookstore display any time soon.  So I put her away, and considered her little more than a colored pencil exercise.  

But regarding the whole illustration idea,  I still want to find a way to do it, and someday...I just might.


  1. Something weird just happened and I think it was a sign...I was catching up on your blog on my Nook while Owen watched Max and Ruby. When he glanced at my screen he noticed Miss A.D. Venture and he said, "hey, can I play that game?" and he tried to press the image to make it do something. Moral of the story: Owen is a kid with great taste, and he was interested in seeing more.


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