Last weekend I attended a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in Birmingham, Alabama. This meeting was designated as Writing and Illustrating for Kids (WIK).
As the event draws to a close the prompt for the following year’s competition is announced. In 2013 the illustrators received their information: “Look out P.J. it’s a……” The artist fills in the blank and completes an image to enter.
I thought that I would like to use a flying cat since I had 2 models sleeping in my studio. With the main character being a cat, the word feline seemed to be an appropriate part of the sentence. With dictionary open on my computer I began to look up science terms. Well, why not work with alliteration as one does in children’s literature. Back to the science terms under the letter F.
“Look out P.J. it’s a flyby feline fission flux.” These are all science terms that could pertain to space.
The Steampunk look was on my mind so off I went. Alli was on the floor stretching beside my chair.
Now who would P.J. be? Hmmm, who would be afraid of a flying Steampunk cat? Steampunk mice of course.
Some positioning thoughts.
One of my favorite tools is the white gel pen. Probably one of the simplest materials to use. It is basically a white ball point pen that is opaque enough to write on paint. On a blue background it would be fun to emulate a blueprint. What could be drawn? Buildings, machines? Oh, flying machines of course.
Everybody and everything is in its place. However, it is looking very flat. I took a photo of the art and opened it in Photoshop. This piece was going to be submitted on line and 8″ x 10″ prints were going to be mailed so the actual painting would never be seen. Now P.J. joins the ranks of digital art.
It neither won nor placed, but I am happy with the outcome. In my quirky art world cats fly, mice shriek in horror, and flying machines frequent the skies. I may be a little too edgy for children’s books. Part of my mission in attending the conference was to see if I could find the right fit for my artwork in the illustration business. I have not found it yet, but “this too will be revealed.”