I'd like to share what I've been working on for quite some time. The seeds of this project started back in 2010 from a sketch of a crow (A picture of that is below). In 2016 I revisited the idea, and it grew into a story. Since then, I have been working on illustrating the story line I laid out.
So far, I have 45 completed illustrations, with 15-20 remaining. I have 20 Black and White ink/wash illustrations, 15 color illustrations done with gouache paint, and 5-ish digital/colored pencil spreads for the book. I still have more color/gouache and spread pieces to complete before I start doing the layout for the book.
A bit about the book, as it sits right now. It's an illustrated story book for people of all ages. A tale of myth & mystery centered around an astronaut, a crow, and a golden orb. They strangely find their paths entwined, and forever changed.
The world of the book takes place in 3 areas- A world resembling our present day (with the astronaut), A world of dreams (with the crow), and an Afterworld .
This book serves as an opening act for a much larger, detailed story I will tell in the future. At a point in the past, the current story was separate from the next... but then I saw how closely they matched, how I could tie the stories together to create an overarching narrative. It just became time to tell the stories, instead of dreaming them.
I'm not sure if the book will need to have text. In some aspects, I'd like it to operate as a visual journey, where the reader fills in the "gaps" between images. On the other hand, having an heavily illustrated short story would be nice, in that I would be able to tell the story as it exists in my imagination, guiding the reader to the ideas through words AND images. It's something that will be decided as I finish the illustrations and layout.
I have had to create a work schedule , and it's challenging. I work a "day job" as an art teacher, and am a father and husband. I also have taken on an illustration position with a start up game company that fills what little time I have left for art. So finding a good time to work on this project is a challenge in itself.
I chisel out work days, and from those days I set aside time to work on the illustrations as I can. In an ideal world (and quite possibly a future one) I would be working on my art work full time. That's the ultimate goal here, really.
As far as the publishing aspect. I'm thinking of going with Blurb right now. They've got a fairly decent editor, and if I don't like that - they offer integration into Adobe products. They also offer a Kickstarter service for self publishing and I'm thinking that will be the route that fills the needs of this book. Financially, having a larger number of books printed would be ideal. I could keep the costs lower that way, and pass that on to people who'd like to purchase the book.
I'm also working to build a substantial fan/support base to fund this project and my work.
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