I’ve always wanted to illustrate a children’s picture book.
Two years ago, I was hanging with my friend Ben Stafford at the Creative South Conference and he showed me some concept sketches for a really cute book written by his wife, Beth. The drawings were great and he was really excited about the project. I have to be honest and say I was a bit jealous. I remember telling myself that my opportunity would come along someday.
Fast forward about a year, we hosted Ben and Beth on our Joy Venture Podcast (you can listen to the episode here). After the interview, Thad, Ben and Beth and I grabbed some tacos at Condado (YUM!) and the conversation turned towards childrens’ books. Beth looked at Ben, then looked at me and asked if I would illustrate their book! I was shocked. Ben is an amazing illustrator! I didn't even pause. "Absolutely! I’ll do it!"
That was last November and here we are in mid-August, finally ready to release the book. It was far more time-consuming than I had anticipated. Far more difficult and way more rewarding. I started with pencil and paper to rethink the characters and even the style I would create them in. I wanted to push myself to do something different. I’m really happy with the results.
So today, we release it into the world to see if people think it’s as great as we do. I feel nervous, exposed, and downright terrified. But I know I have done my best, and I learned a lot in the process. I will likely never earn back the hours I put into this book but it has brought me a lot of joy. Working with the Staffords had been a real pleasure and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m so thankful for the opportunity. I got to do a children’s book!
Hopefully, in 30 days, when the Kickstarter campaign is over, I will look back at this post and remember that–funded or failed—it was the process of creating that brought me joy, regardless of the outcome.
The Chin Up, Chinchilla Kickstarter Campaign will be running from August 15 through September 14, 2018. If you like what you see, please consider buying a book or four. Christmas is just around the corner!