This Christmas, as a gift for my children's families, I determined to write and illustrate one of our famous family stories. When our middle son was three years old, he came to every meal asking us if it was Cowboy food. If we did the proper convincing, he would eat. This carried on for about a year. During that time, he also acquired his own version of a Cowboy outfit complete with boots, hat and stick pony. Then, not only was he a picky eater, he was a picky dresser! Little did we know that we were creating a monster!
This project had been rolling around in my mind for a long time, and finally I set a goal to complete it for Christmas 2016. I had the ideas, but I was not sure I had the artistic skill. Years ago I had taken art classes in school. Would that be enough to produce an illustrated children's book? My daughter loaned me her illustration markers and Prismacolor pencils. What she didn't loan me was her training, skill, and talent. Oh well, I decided to give it my best shot anyway.
During the process, I asked a few friends for their input as far as how the storyline was unfolding, about layout, and if I was getting the characters' drawings to be expressive enough. I was lucky to get some good feedback. They even said the story was fun and entertaining. They especially liked the surprise ending.
I had been promised some layout help from my artist daughter who has a fancy design program. But time just got away from us and I knew I wouldn't make my deadline if I had to wait for her schedule to clear up. So, with just the software programs I knew how to use, I did my best to layout the book. I was not exactly happy considering the limits of what I could do, but it worked for a family Christmas gift.
So whether I continue along the path of creating a marketable children's book or not, the kids have informed me that they expect a new storybook each Christmas from now on. They tell me I have set a precedent. They each expect their own storybook forthcoming...with illustrations of course. What have I done?!?!?!