Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Stress of Getting Behind Schedule...


I've not reported on my picture book artwork recently, but it's going really well. I'm not used to the slow pace though: normally I would be head-down every day, so things would move along at a reasonable pace. It generally me takes 6 - 8 weeks to complete the pastel stage of my artwork, but this year I am getting 2 days a week instead of 5, so it's taking more than twice as long as normal, which feels like an eternity!


There's a worse snag though. Back at the outset, when I calculated how long it would take, I worked on having 3 days a week, since my residency project is only 2 days, but the extra admin of juggling both projects, plus all the back and forth emails setting up my various educational visits, not to mention writing this blog of course - all that stuff wipes out at least one day a week. Which means that I have been slowly creeping more and more behind schedule.

So, I've been pretty stressed, working late most nights to try and keep up, worrying about how to break the news to my publisher. In the end though, when I finally plucked up courage, they were great. My editor not only extended my deadline to fit the new timescale, but added a couple of extra weeks, to give me wriggle-room. HUGE sigh of relief! In all my years as an illustrator, I've never missed a deadline, so I'm delighted and feeling much better.


As you can see, I have been working recently on some of the single pages. This is because all the double page spreads are now done (hurrah!), all EXCEPT one of the most complex of all - the final spread, which I have been putting off:


The two illustrations above are from the middle of the book, where the bull is loose and stalking various children, prior to tossing them into the air. Oh no! Oh yes... You wicked author Julia Jarman!

The one below is from quite early on, before things go pear-shaped on the farm. Julia's text says:

They saw ducks dabbling in the lake,
And cows vibrating - making milk shakes.


Tee hee.

When I finished the last of these three pieces yesterday, I suddenly realised that everything was done, all except - yes - that final spread. So I'm nearly there.

Before I can even start colouring that last piece though, I have to trace it up onto my pink paper, which will take ages because it's so detailed, and be VERY boring. Unfortunately (fortunately?), I am going to struggle to get that job done at all next week, as I have a pretty full schedule, with my usual two days residency at the Morgan Centre, plus a lecture in Sheffield, then a school visit entailing an overnight stop in London... Good grief. it's all go. 

No excuse the following week though. I'm guessing it will take me 3 - 4 days to pastel up the last piece, instead of the two I generally allow. Then, finally, the last job is to cut lots of card and paper, ready to mount everything up for sending off to the publisher. Another boring but necessary task.

Or maybe I can twist John's arm to do that bit for me...



5 comments:

Monica said...

That gave me a morning laugh. Congratulations on working out a solution to your schedule so amicably.

Татьяна Троян said...

Your illustrations are so cute and full of humor! Love them :)

Deborah said...

I love hearing (and seeing) all about the process. I can't wait to see the finished project.

Rustam Ali said...

So cute illustration. very good work.
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