The girl I was dating at the time had a cabin on the lake. One summer night we took the boat out and I stared at the stars and thought about what I wanted to do with my life. I decided I wanted to illustrate childrens books.
Obviously this was a long time ago.
But I got to work. I read a lot about breaking into this career and it was harder and more complex and more competitive than I ever could have imagined. I thought less about the business side of things and put more energy into the creative, and more fun part of the process. But I wasn’t a writer, I was an artist. I looked for someone to work with and I soon found someone. It wasn’t a success. We broke the number one rule about writing children’s books: DON’T WRITE ABOUT CATS.
So I decided to strike out on my own. Not because of the cats thing, but we just didn’t work well together. The first thing I wrote on my own was a book called “Daisy’s Couch”. I was very pleased with it. I sent it to dozens of publishers and agents and after a few months, I secured a literary agent. My agent failed to sell the book to a publisher, but it wasn’t due to her abilities. Looking back, the art was terrible and rushed. I clearly had no idea what I was doing.
But while she was soliciting it to publishers, on a suggestion from my old friend and mentor David Tea I started making comics. Soon children’s books took the back seat to comics and that is pretty much how things are these days.
But in the ten years I’ve been doing comics I would still write and draw books no one has really seen. Over the last ten years, I wrote and illustrated two children’s books (Up In The Sky and H is For Hat). I have no idea where the artwork for those books are. I also redrew, rewrote, expanded and overhauled ‘Daisy’s Couch’ into a huge, painted graphic novel that is about 75% complete. I always loved that idea. I started to redraw it in the spring that the Uptown girl movie was made. ‘Daisy’s Couch’ was put aside while I devoted my time and energy into promoting the movie. While the movie settled down, my art style had changed in pretty dramatic way that it looked like two different people were drawing it. Sadly, I never finished it.
But a couple years ago, I got the idea for two new books. ‘Itsy Bitsy’, a retelling of the nursery rhyme about a spider going up the waterspout. A cute idea, but I don’t know. I think it’s a better idea than the way I executed the story.
The other story is titled ‘This Little Piggy’. And to be honest, I think it’s a pretty good idea. It’s probably the only thing I’ve done outside of ‘Uptown Girl’ that is worth submitting to publishers. It went through only two rewrites and redrawing. The third and final draft has been sitting on my hard drive for over a year.
It’s time to do something with it. It’s time to submit this book to publishers. I don’t want to self publish it. I’ve self published 8 books now, and really, I have no idea what i am doing. And like I said, this book is the best thing I’ve ever done and the only thing worth submitting to publishers.
Don’t get me wrong, of all the creative work I’ve done, ‘Uptown Girl’ will always be my favorite and most loved, but I can’t imagine finding a publisher for her.
So, after months of thinking about it, I decided to start a Kickstarter for it.
For those who haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s a way to fund creative projects. Through donations I would be able to bring this project to reality. My goal with my Kickstarter is too obtain small donations in order to print copies of ‘This Little Piggy’ and use the printed copies to submit a professional looking book to potential publishers.
It’s something I am not necessarily comfortable with, I’ve never asked for donations before. But this is something I really want to happen. If you can help, thank you! Please visit my Kickstarter page here. There are rewards for certain donation amounts. You’ll also be able to read a little more about the book itself but basically this is an expansion of the nursery rhyme/toe counting game of little piggies going to the market and staying home. I started to wonder about the piggies on the other foot. After all, there were only five things the pigs did, what about the other foot?
So I wrote and illustrated five other things the piggies did.
For example, This Little Piggy Went Skiing:
And This Little Piggy Danced In The Ballet:
Special thanks to Jon Sloan for technical assistance.
And yeah, I realize starting this on April Fool’s Day is kinda stupid, but there you have it.