A long-held dream of mine is in motion.
I’m pursuing an illustrator for two children’s books that I’ve written. The process is all new to me, but it’s amazing what will happen when you put yourself out there. I made a simple ask on social media to see if anyone I knew had experience in this area. The response was more than I expected: there are many illustrators in my expanded circles, and other suggestions took me to freelance co-ops online as well as taught me a lot about the overall process.
For the last three days I’ve been pouring over children’s books, graphic design portfolios and tutorial videos. There is so much information available.
Certain graphic styles really speak to me (detailed, dreamy, almost a fantasy-feeling), but my taste, as in most things, turns out to be expensive. (Which is ironic considering our family’s poor country upbringing.) But I’m on a journey of authenticity, and it feels wrong to pursue anything but what I love. Doing so feels almost as if I’m being untruthful and unkind to myself.
I will simply have to work harder to afford the illustrations I love and that match my stories. Otherwise, I know I would always look at my book with a twinge of regret. If I truly love the graphics I know I will work that much harder to get the book out into the world, pursuing every marketing and sales tactic I possibly can because I believe in my book.
All in all, however, this is meant to be a learning experience. I’m not in it for the money. At all. It’d be nice not to lose money, but in the self-publishing world I imagine that’s a distinct possibility even while being a worthy risk. As Tony put it this morning, “we’ve spent money on much dumber things.”
It’s true. This would be a worthwhile investment. I would have a book out there. I will have gone through it. I will learn and do it better the next time. It will lead to different and better opportunities.
And all because I believed and stayed true to my authentic tastes.
Doors tend to open when you follow your heart.
Even if it costs a little more in the beginning.