Monday, September 15, 2008

Introduction...Snik Snak Skaduliak

Playing in the car CD player: Snick Snak Skaduliak by the Go-Nuts

I am a writer/illustrator for the children's market.

The infamous "They" say that you should call yourself a writer/illustrator even before you are published because it is, in fact, accurate - you are writing and illustrating. You may not be published, you may not have ever submitted anything, but if you are writing and illustrating, then you are writer/illustrator. I modified the professional title for the last few years since I was still in "do I really want to switch to this career?" research mode- testing the waters and deciding if I really wanted to get wet. After finally leaving the shallows, and jumping into the deep water with both feet to do National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo- write a novel in a month) in 2007, I feel far more confident saying that I am, indeed, a writer. A good one? Who knows? But I write.

The illustrator side has had to take a back seat for the last few years, because it seemed easier to approach the field from one angle. Now, she's baaaaack. For lo, I have discovered the beauty of the modern graphic novel. Words and pictures together for a variety of age groups and genres? Swoon! My current young adult novel project may be very well suited to this medium, so I am currently on a binge - cramming graphic novels into my eyes and brain by the dozen, not to mention devouring "how-to" books about the medium, including doing the Ronin version of the book Drawing Words & Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden.

A word to those reading comics and graphic novels: If you are used to speed reading and burning through a typical novel, be prepared- the pictures in graphic novels are going to slow you down and make you digest the story fully. Try to speed look and read and you will end-up with serious eyestrain, because your eyes don't just go left to right, left to right, like when you read lines in a regular text-oriented book. Your eyes flick back and forth and all over the page, especially if you are reading a comic or graphic novel that has funky tiers, odd shaped panels and lots of diagonal panels, bleeds, splashes and insets. Do yourself and the creators a favor and slow down...