The story behind the book

The story behind the book

book cover

With any journey there is always a story.
Almost two years ago, I was selling my artwork
at the local Moscow Farmer's Market.
Many eager people said I should illustrate a children's book.
And after hearing it so many times, I thought, maybe.

Then one day a woman saw my artwork at the market
that stopped her in her tracks and brought her to tears.
She went home and ordered a print of She Believed.
A few weeks later that same woman approached me
at the Farmer's Market and told me her story.

She believed.
I said yes.
This is where it all began.
That woman, Karen Griffith, would become my author
and I would become her illustrator.
The match was made.

Before starting this project I had no idea how hard it would be.
All the little details:
the flow of the book
the layout
oh, the characters must always look similar from page to page (eek!)
research on butterflies, foxes, and hedgehogs
how do I make a tree getting tucked into bed?
what font? that took a while to nail down

How did it begin?
Each page was a work of art in itself. I started with little sketches.
Developed my characters. How would they look doing each thing?
I started with large canvas boards to accommodate the entire spread.
The main characters were painted on mixed media white paper.
Then cut out. The backgrounds are comprised of little bits of old papers and paint.
I used a matte medium to glue it all down.
There were days that I doubted it all. Could I really pull this off?
That's what they call the middle part. The unsure, I'm crazy part. The messy part.
With any project, there is a start, middle and a end.
You have to go through the middle part to get to the end.

Once the art was complete. I scanned each one and cleaned them up.
Then started the process of laying out the pages on the computer.
Thankful for my graphic design chops, this part was easy.
We had many people proof the first few rounds.
I'm sure there are a few little things that are not perfect.
But that's okay. There is beauty in imperfection.

We were on the fence about how to publish. Find a publisher or self-publish.
This is a whole other story.
In the end we self-published.

Almost two years in the making and a lot of work,
our book is out in the world!

Yay us!



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Congratulations Julene! You were brave and conquered a new challenge. It has been fun to watch your journey, can’t wait to see what you do next! Hugs to you!

Barbara Ham

Congrats Julene! You are such an inspiration. The illustrations are fantastic!

Beth Case

Can i please buy two from you or do I need to order from book people or..
Cant wait!


Absolutely beautiful , congratulations!

Linda DeWitt

I can’t WAIT to see the book. I’m so happy that you and Karen found each other. Thanks for sharing the story behind the story. YAYYYY!!!

Sandi Klingler

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