This project has taken me on a rather bumpy ride! It started as an Illustration Friday topic, although the prompt escapes me – it was probably 6 years ago. Anyway, I always thought it would make a nice portfolio piece, redone and in color. I also thought it would be a nice way to showcase the rendering of different ethnicities.
Well, after the last few projects that went so smoothly, I kind of thought this one would, too. But, it turned out to be a humbling experience. One of the main challenges I faced was capturing the right proportions of young children that you would probably want to hold a line – the ones in the original drawing look too old. Then, I ignored the voice inside and came up with a rather boring teacher-character. I think I was just being lazy.
In the end, what I thought was a final turned out to be a study (and, yes! studies are worth the time and effort). I changed the teacher to the one that was shouting in my ear, wanting to be put on the page. I went through many levels of “I love it,” “I hate it,” “It’s OK,” “Well, maybe it’s not…”
I’m glad I stuck with it because it did turn out better than I thought it was going to early on in the process. I’ll be taking it to SCBWI’s Portfolio Bootcamp tomorrow in Thousand Oaks where I will hopefully get some feedback from fresh (and experienced) eyes. The presenters will be Marla Frazee (love her work) and Lauren Rille of Simon and Schuster. Mr. Grumpy will also be up for critique as will my sunshine painter. Can’t wait!