Thursday, June 18, 2009

And You May Ask Yourself...

"And you may ask yourself...well, how did I get here?"- Talking Heads

And I may ask myself, how did I get here? And I may ask myself, how did I get that book deal?

All very good questions.

So how did the book come about? I have two responses-one response isn't as sexy as the other but it all goes something like this...

I asked!! Too simple you might ask? Well, in essence I saw a need in my field and threw an idea out there. My publisher did not have anything similar in their library of books so I filled the gap.

A funny thing happened in December of 2006. I sent out my book idea in the morning and heard from my 'chosen' publisher the very same day. Now I was told you go into a "book slush pile" that can take up to 4 months. I was not expecting to hear back from them the very same day. I didn't know what to expect really. The publisher liked my idea and wanted more. I stayed up all night and threw together a possible Table of Contents. I sent it out the next morning and they like like that contribution too. This publisher then wanted a sample chapter. I sent an Introduction. They liked that and then they sent the whole thing to the head of publishing and on January 4th, 2008 I got the deal! Viola!

The second response goes like something like this: I got attacked by a dog and could not paint! Yup! Two weeks before I moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia my next door neighbors dog nearly ripped off my right index finger. In several seconds this dog bit and shook my finger, wrist and elbow into a mess. I could not even hold a pen. My whole creative future flashed in front of my eyes! What was I going to do? Something completely out of my character- a book!

I must back track a bit though. I thought up this idea about 6 years ago but shelved it because of uncertainty. While I was unpacking, I found it all neatly put together in a binder. It re-sparked interest and an idea to get it out there. I reorganized it and sent it out. Truly at that point I had nothing to lose. My hand was healing slowly and I had no idea if I was able to paint again. Any fear that I had left at this point in my life was suddenly gone!

A dog bite made me realize a few things:
1. Your hands are extremely important.
2. The slightest injury to your hand can make your life very challenging.
3. Life is very short.
4. There are unconventional markets for myself that I never could have imagined being in and contributing to.
5. There is no room for doubt.
6. There is no room for fear.
7. Just go for it no matter what!
8. If I am going to do something-I might as well go big!

I am certainly not expecting to his book to be on the best sellers list but I do hope if anything it sheds some light on Illustration and helps those who want to pursue this as a career. Being that I quite humble I tried to write it in the most down to earth way possible!