Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Banana boy and a bunny on a bike

A pencil sketch to begin a new colour image

A cleaned up sketch is the next step

Some colour added

And a final - or is it??? Looking back on this now I guess it wouldn't have killed me to add in a couple of birds, a tree or 2, or maybe better yet a distant group of buildings as a destination point. This is the creative process in mid action!! Tune in later for the above mentioned additions on a FINAL final of the final piece

Well here is a more FINAL final of the final with a few additions and colour toned down a tad

Thursday, June 25, 2009

BANANA time!

Well it seems like my gloomy period of self doubt is easing somewhat and my creativity is starting to come back! I'm getting some drawing done and some good ideas - pheww! I hate going through that grey area, even though I know its doable - I try to stay positive reminding myself of Dorothy Sayer's trivium: Idea, Energy and Power. We have the Idea, that's in the bank already, its the Energy that fluctuates, we will have to wait and see if the end result produces any Power!!
Posted by Dan 06.25.09

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to describe a bunny rabbit's ears

That is if they are not just big, or huge or even humongous - if they are ELEPHANTINE.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Escaping the pull of the moon

So, after a prolific and exciting start to the artwork portion of our book, suddenly nothing.
Its now been a couple of weeks since I’ve produced anything of significance for the book. This morning I met Sherryll and her kids, who I know are all eagerly anticipating a new fun-filled drawing for the story. I yammered a variety of excuses, some valid, others to placate myself as I search inwardly for a good reason why nothing has come forth recently. Then riding down on this beautiful spring morning I remembered something about my self. This may sound like voodoo, but somehow my creative cycles are closely aligned with the cycle of the moon. I know, I know, werewolves come to mind at first when you hear this kind of thing, closely followed by aliens and /or Elvis sightings, but its true. I can offer no feasible explanation, but for the empirical evidence of my own canvasses, songs and a variety of creative stuff I have to show, all which came from me while the Moon shone un-shadowed by the Earth.
This cycle isn’t always positive, and I haven’t tracked it closely, but there are full moons that have exactly the opposite effect. It occurs to me today that this past Monday, June 8th was such a moon for me, hence I have had a terribly un-productive four weeks. No songs (I’m recording an album with a musical partner), no drawings, zilch.
BUT - Sherryll - the good news is that the next full moon coming up, July 7th, should bring about my creative cycle! Stay tuned - drawings should be arriving from the moon any day now! Posted by Dan, June 15th.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It Was Tense But I Nailed It

A couple of blogs ago I was mulling over question of tense and viewpoint.I had consulted a few how-to books, which were fairly unanimous in employing a past tense, third person formula for kids’ picture books. To that I wrote, “Right now, the first draft of my story is third person, present tense, but, I must admit, it doesn’t feel quite right. Will I end up bowing to convention?”

Well, yes and no. After fiddling with the story, I ended up in a sort of reverse position to how I had started. Having begun with third person, present tense, I quite happily ended up with first person, past tense.

For the re-write, I began with the tried-and-true formula – third person, past tense - but it just wasn’t working. I would start typing and then stop. Start. Stop. Backspace. Start. Stop. Delete. It was a sure sign: something was wrong.

Writing, for me, is normally a fairly smooth and flowing experience.It may not always be so from the get-go, and may not be so all the way through, but at some point in the initial stages the words drift from my head, through to my fingertips and onto the page. It’s like magic in the sense that I am often surprised by what ends up on the page: poof – there it is, my opener.

We all have different ways of doing things. Celebrated author John Irving (The World According To Garp, A Prayer For Owen Meany),for instance, always, always begins crafting his novels with the closing sentence. And, just as intriguing, the closing sentence always, always remains the same. Not so for his opener or any of the preceding paragraphs or even chapters. For Irving, his last sentence is his definitive starting point, and once it comes to him, it is chiseled in stone.

So when I began to flounder with the tried-and-true, attempting to squeeze my story into a one-size-fits-all formula, experience told me it was time to try another tactic. I did and I'm thrilled I did. Both Dan and I agree, this is THE ONE.

~ Sherryll

Monday, June 1, 2009

And the answer is…

I opened my inbox and saw a message from the editors of Outfront.
Two weeks ago I had submitted a pitch to the CBC radio program, described on their website as, “Your stories, your radio show.” The pitch, which you can read below as the first entry in this blog, was about our quest to write and illustrate a kids’ picture book.

So, with mounting excitement I clicked on the message and here is what it said:

"Sorry Sherryll. Our show has been canceled, and so we are no longer commissioning stories. Best of luck, The Outfront Team"

I forwarded the Outfront email to Dan with this short note: " : ( Back to the drawing board. I will figure out if there is another avenue we can take.”

I assumed a forge-ahead attitude for Dan – which, I will do; I will forge ahead. But I couldn’t help thinking that we had suffered a triple whammy here: First, I felt crushed that our story would not air. Second, I mourned the loss of Outfront – an innovative, grassroots program put out by top-notch people. And third, the most unsettling of all, is that Outfront’s demise is yet another example of what is going on in this economy, and in journalism in particular. RIP Outfront.

~ Sherryll