Sweet relief. That is what I felt on the day that this photo was taken. It was the first time I laid eyes on my new book Eerie Dearies and I must have wept with relief. It was a project that I put a great amount of time and energy into and until I held the book in my hands I had no way of knowing if the book would actually get printed. But look ! It happened!
It was weird to see the illustrations slightly bigger in the book format after spending so much time in the studio looking at the originals. The book is 8.75" x 11" and 64 pages in length. The original artworks are 8" x 10".
I really threw myself into creating these illustrations and coming up with my idea. I wanted it to be unique as a book but also connected to the rest of my art practice. Also I didn't want it to be just another cutesey kid's book. This has a bit more of an edge and will delight readers of an older age group. For example N is for Narcolepsy above is my Aunty's favourite. The girl hunched over the desk, exhausted reminded my aunty of working late nights at her job!
If you are interested in how to publish your art you could go to a publisher with your ideas and a portfolio of work that supports your idea. Don't show up with only landscape paintings in your portfolio if you are pitching an illustrated book about skateboarding kittens. That just won't fly. In my case the publisher saw an exhibition where I had painted school girls onto book covers and they said, "Hey let's make that into a book." So having art that would already translate well into illustrations for a book is great because you aren't asking someone to take a blind leap of faith in your idea.
Here's a big tip on approaching a publisher. Count on rejection. Whether rejection comes at the very start or happens halfway through the process it will happen and you have to be ready to come up with new variations on your ideas and deal with busy professionals who won't let you down gently. The great thing about rejection is that it's evidence that you are really trying to do something that isn't going to come easily. With that attitude comes great rewards! Oh and make sure to submit your ideas to multiple publishers in order to increase the odds of getting your book published.
EERIE DEARIES is an unusual book that offers a carefully crafted & alphabetized selection of twenty-six beautifully illustrated excuses for being absent from school. Faded and well-used book covers serve as compelling backgrounds to each of these delicately rendered acrylic paintings, creating an atmosphere akin to an old and dusty collection of darkly humourous myths.I love the idea of the school girl above missing school because she was occupied with astral projecting. It's a little wacky, a little whimsical and truly unusual! Astral projection, gremlin-attacks, and teleportation are just a few of the reasons for academic absence creatively illustrated in this book.
I have had a great time creating the special edition of the book that includes a bunch of goodies: a postcard, mini-print and stickers. This book is a beautiful hardcover, with golden and silver embossing on the cover with a textured spine. You can order a copy from me here: