Julene's Studio

The story behind the book January 19 2016, 5 Comments

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!



the start of the book February 03 2015, 0 Comments

I am doing it!
An author found me and we are putting together my first children's book.
The courage. The passion.
above is some character development for my fox.
I threw this image out on Facebook and had great feedback on which fox everyone loved.
In the end I went with the one in the bed.
I never knew how hard this book illustration thing would be!
The book is about a tree that wants to find her song.
With the help of her friends, the fox and the hedgehog...
she finds her song and much more.
How does one illustrate a mother tree putting her little one to bed?
I think it would look like this.
This illustration was a puzzle... got the fox faces figured out. 
Oh, I need a spot for copy, check.
Character continuity with the tree.
Did you notice the little green worm?
This is what I have so far.
I hope you follow along and watch the progress.
We put a letter of query out to a publisher.
Crossing toes and fingers that this little book gets picked up and enjoyed!