Not long now until I can start the fun process of contacting publishers about Animania and agents about my illustration work. I have put this off for quite a while now as it's hard work going through this process and I didn’t want to try again until I felt 100% ready. I now feel ready, I believe I have a strong enough portfolio to show people and am much more confident about the publishing industry. The past month I have been working on getting a new website up purely for my illustration work which should be launched in a couple of weeks. As soon as this is up and running it is time to give it all another crack. Not wanting to sound like I am giving up, but this will be my last attempt at contacting agents and publishers, if this doesn’t get me anywhere I am officially doing everything off my own back and will just have fun with it all and leave everything in the hands of fate.
I have decided to call the site Neans Dream (Nean Bean is my family nick name), my family have this thing of rhyming our names so there is me…Nean Bean, Anna (Annie Ban), Gina, (Genie Bean) and Keith (Keithy Beef), original eh lol. I tend to not take things too seriously and try to have as much fun and laughter as I can in whatever I do so I wanted this to come across in the new website. By using my nickname I felt that would give it a more personal touch and would show a little side to my personality. That’s my thinking behind it, it might well backfire and people will see it as being completely unprofessional. I am taking a risk with the concept and hoping people will get where I am coming from.
So the past few weeks has been a mix of re-tweaking Animania, getting a black and white portfolio together and adding everything to the website. It should be launched within the next fortnight and then it’s time to keep everything crossed!
I have also been mucking about with my new toy the Wacom tablet and pen to try and get to grips with digital artwork. It’s a fantastic tool but I have only just scratched the surface with it. There is so much more I need to learn. The first banner concept I did for Neans Dream was all done by digitally colouring in a pen sketch I did. I like it and it was great practice, but it didn’t feel right. So I landed up redoing it but with animals as the main subject and going back to hand painting with a bit of digital touching up. This effort I feel is much more me and shows more about what my work is about. I have nowhere near mastered digital art and feel like I have a lot to learn but my gut feeling is saying that I will still be more traditional based when it comes to my work. I have always had a soft spot for hand painted artwork and as much as I marvel at the effects of digital artwork (you can’t deny it is very professional looking), but there is just something magical about a hand painted piece in my opinion. Its taken me a long, long time to venture over to the dark side but I am dipping my toes in….. you watch give me a year and maybe my paintbrushes will be gathering cobwebs somewhere and I will be eating my words he he
So that’s what I have been doing the past few weeks. Hopefully there won’t be too much ranting in the next blog about the whole publishing process. I did have some lovely feedback from a publisher recently about Animania and a lot of information about the picture book industry which was a real eye opener. I will share that with everyone in the next blog. Lets just say it's not an easy market to crack, in fact it’s probably the most difficult door to open in the publishing industry but I do like a challenge mwahahahah