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I woke in the night last night, and said "James! Hsst! James?"

He said "Hrggzzzt....?"

I said "If storks carry babies, then vultures must carry zombie babies!"

There was a pause, and then he said, enunciating very clearly, "What the hell, man....hggggzzzt....."

Now I have a vague desire to paint the vulture carrying zombie babies...

Did a watercolor/mixed media/stuff on that watercolor paper-on-board stuff. The technique was cool. I'm sort of dissatisfied with the end result--I quite like the pangolin's scales, and was glad to get them done, there's nothing I actively DISLIKE, it just isn't...enough. S'what I get for rushing a composition, I suppose.

There's a kind of dabby effect I've been interested in--very textural--that you get in the work of Scoff Gustafson and so forth. And I know it's done with oils, but I'm trying to get it with acrylic and gouache because I'm stubborn that way, and I can't do oils. Waiting for things to dry makes me insane with watercolor and acrylic--even if I DID shell out however much for a full glomph of oils, they'd find me clinging to the curtains by my teeth, shrieking about barbarian quail hordes, if it took a week to dry. And it doesn't really want to work as a digital effect yet, although I suspect I can get it do so if I really work at it.

Looking over work by Gustafson also rekindles my vague desire to do an animal alphabet. Except that being me, I could never do a kid's animal alphabet...I'd get through maybe "A is for Aardvark Artist," and then my mind would snap, and we'd get "B is for Basted Bat with a Bong" and "C is for Capybara Conjuring Cthulhu (with cuddly cuttlefish!)" and by the time we hit "N is for Naked Mole-rat with Nipple Piercings and Nunchaku" and "P is for Pangolin Purchasing Porn" it'd have gone far beyond the realms of publishability, to say nothing of taste.

Meh. I get all these ideas, and lack the time to follow all of them to the end (time being money, after all.) The trick really oughta be to do up a few, write a proposal, and send it to publishers, so that they could pay me to work on something I wanted to work on. I just don't really know how to go about it. Anybody know any good books or websites or advice for the children's book industry?

The problem with being--if not direly poor, at least closer to that than t'alternative--is that you can't take time to pursue a project that may bear monetary fruits much later down the road--it's gotta be an immediate pay-off, or you don't eat. Oh, well. (I have PMS like a ravening dingo bitch at the moment, so this fact is weighing on me more heavily than usual.)

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Your animal alphabet in potentia makes me think of Hilaire Belloc's A Moral Alphabet, only more so. Write it: I'd buy it :)

How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published by Barbara Seuling.

The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author's Tips on Writing and Publishing Children's Books, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for Kids by Aaron Shepard.

How to Write & Illustrate Children's Books and Get Them Published by Treld Pelkey Bicknell, Felicity Trotman.

Those are just a few. I'm looking into children's literature as a profession. Hope this helps.

There's always Writer's Market. I think there's also an Illustrator's Market, too.

In spite of their names, they are not actual markets, but books, updated yearly, which list:
-what exactly those publishers want to see in a query
-what percentage of their publications come from previously unpublished authors
-what genres they usually buy
-how much they usually pay, and whether its in advances, flat fees, or percentages

They also have a lot of advice on good things to do for beginning or experienced authors.

I've never picked up the Illustrator's Market, but I assume it's similar.

If Diane DiMassa could do an alphabet book within the Hothead Paisan oeuvre, you can certainly do an alphabet book like the one you describe.

And its not like you'd be the first to do a wildly inapproriate alphabet thingy. There's always the Gashlycrumb Tinies by Gorey, after all...

My high school French teacher had a Gashlycrumb Tinies calendar. One of her freshmen begged her to put a Post-It note over "K is for Katie, struck dead by an axe."

i hear you. i think making some of these ideas commercial by getting the proposals first is a great idea. for the animal alphabet, i would go with your strengths and skip the kid's market. think more edward gorey.

also, i love the pangolin, but i think the problem is that the hammock is not hammocky enough. i'm expecting a bit more pangolin-induced sags rather than a fairly uniform curve.

There's always time if you make time for it. Also a lot of tthese projects you can do preliminaries for before cvomitting to any of the expensive stuff.

As for the panglokin, I think the only things he is missing are a tiny umbrella and a slice of lime in his glass, and soem strong tropical lighting for more contrast, but it has a wonderful mood.

The links for the Children's Books are gold if you REALLY want to do them. My sisister is going to do one, and I am going to illustrate.


I really want to see a Capybara Conjuring Cthulu. Sell it as a small run book, or a series of small sized prints. I would totally buy a whacked out animal alphabet. :D

And it would be a book, for those of us who truly don't have the wallspace for a print/prints.

Now I have a vague desire to paint the vulture carrying zombie babies...

[Alopex] I LIKE that idea! Personally, I'm picturing one of each: a rough and roguish vulture with zombie babies (or zombie Bambies) hanging from its beak, looking rather smug, and a very prim stork looking absolutely indignant (if not horrified) at the concept. I can even see the vulture's sneering grin - with teeth, of course!

You rock, Ursula!

Donna Barr did a fabulous little book called A Totally Socially Unacceptable Alphabet with gems like "D is for duodenum, ruined by laudanum" and "O is for oral, but we'll not quarrel." If you did the book you describe, I would buy it and extra copies for my friends.

Vultures carrying zombie babies! Hee hee! I love your brain.

Ooooh, I do love the Pangolin in a hammock... very nice and comfortably relaxed.

You MUST do a vulture carrying zombie babies! And kynekh_amagire must see it, as she'd probably rejoice in the horror.

And of course, one has only to adore the Gorey alphabet books to want to see a suitably perverse one from you. And yes... that's something I would actually *gasp* buy!

aww!! i have to say i LOVE your pangolin! i had 2 pangolins for a couple years, at home :) they were so sweet. yours reminded me of them :) relaxing jungle pangolin!! hehe

I also feel somewhat dissatisfied with the Pangolin, but not because I don't like the art, but because it makes me feel jealous.

* Jealous of the pangolin, not of you for being able to create it. Well, that TOO, but being jealous of your abilities is probably the normal state of affairs for most people here so it doesn't bear commenting on.

*laugh* Ah, hell, that'll teach me to whine...

I love pangolins. The misbegotten children of anteaters and pine cones: how could anyone not love them? It does kinda bug me how the hammock doesn't seem to be conforming to the pangolin's mass, but it's cute and unusual and dude, masked lovebirds. Sweet.

It's a texture "tutorial" but you have to know what you're doing in the first place to use it. I think that you could emulate a "dabby" effect in digital with this if you fiddle with it.
Your post made me think of it right away so I thought, maybe, it could help. I really admire this artist's use of texture. :3

Hehe, zombie babies. They're just not done enough.

Innteresting idea...but I think that's a little too far removed for me. I have to be able to actually dab the paint down, with a stylus if not a brush. Thanks for the link, though! Might be able to make some neat paper textures that way...

Actually the tutorial was only a jumping point for me, I ended up making several different textured brushes with it which are infinately helpful.

I get all these ideas, and lack the time to follow all of them to the end (time being money, after all.)

Edward Gorey [of Gashlycrumb Tinies fame, so that's probably why I thought of him] complained about ideas a lot. Not about not having enough-- about having far too many. From an interview in the mid-seventies: "If I never had another idea again in my life I should be quite grateful."

Lord, I can relate. Not that I'm quite willing to wish that I'd never have an idea again, but if ideas were mosquitos, my brain would be a stagnant swamp full of standing water. I swat as many of the buggers as I can, and they STILL make me itch...

..And if zombie babies are brought by vultures, that means flamingoes bring baby crocs, and pigeons deliver baby rodents. Not to mention it'd take a luna moth to deliver newborn beetle larave to expectant beetle parents.

Oh, and of course, earwigs deliver sowbugs. It's just so elementary.

Did you know that the idea of the "stork" bringing babies was originally not at all euphemistic? Quite the reverse, in fact — it was an anatomical reference. In German, from memory. English has of course chosen a slightly different, more domesticated bird to refer to the same appendage.

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