I recently learned I was chosen for an illustrator project that I applied for; I heard about it in an email on the MNSCBWI comment board that a lawyer was looking for an artist to illustrate a children's book. There were two other people interested in it as well, but I found out on Monday that the director liked my style of art. This picture book is actually written for adults and it is on the subject of homelessness. I think the concept is very clever, and the book is going to be presented at the legislative session in December.
There are a couple of catches.
Number 1: I don't get paid. It's a volunteer art project. This is how competitive this field is; you have people clamoring to do something for FREE!
Number 2: It needs to be done in 5 weeks, when the hearing is scheduled.
This is a 32 page picture book, full color, and I have spent the past week drawing and drawing at my dining room table after I get home from work. The upside is that I have very specific directions about what the author wants the page to look like.
The downside is that the author has very specific directions for what the page should look like.
When I met Ben (the author & lawyer) at the conference a few weekends ago, he had an idea of "Little Prince" style artwork. I'm also a big fan of the Little Prince and Antoine de Saint Exupery's watercolors, so here's hoping I can pull this thing off without giving myself an ulcer. I think this project is really important and I want to do the best job I can and not disappoint anybody. At the same time, I'm also starting to design my website; something I know nothing about, but then I think, "Shoot! I can learn how to do it...how hard can it be?"
Or I think what I always heard my dad say when I was growing up. "Why should I PAY someone to do it when I can do it MYSELF?"
It is this line of thinking that always gets me in trouble.
The answer to that question: You PAY someone so you don't find yourself curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor after drinking a whole bottle of Pinot Grigio and crying because you don't understand HTML code and think that Dreamweaver is just an awesome old song by Gary Wright.
But I haven't gotten there. Yet.
I better make a liquor store run tonight.