Back to the drawing board. Literally.

by Joanna
I am sure you all know what it is like to be disappointed, to lose something, to realize that your creative efforts have been lost, damaged, or just plain aren't going to work. As you may know, we have been wrapping up our third children's book this winter. My husband Eric illustrates my stories, and, if you have seen them, you understand me when I say he puts an incredible amount of detail into every drawing. 

A few weeks ago, he was about 80% done with the artwork, and was just getting ready to lay a final watercolor wash onto the illustrations when this happened:

If you look at the paper, you can see a series of wrinkles running across the entire page. This is the same paper Eric used for our first two books, so this was a complete shock to us. Whether due to a change in his illustration style, or the quality of the paper, or just the fact that he has been drawing, erasing, and redrawing over the same pages for the last year while he has refined the artwork, the drawings are not salvageable. For a brief moment we talked about shelving the entire book project. But that didn't last long. 

He immediately went to work researching the best kind of paper to match his style and approach to illustration. It needed to be very strong and stable to handle the many layers of drawing and erasing and redrawing that he puts into every page. He started with this durable watercolor board:

After one illustration, though, it was obvious that the rugged texture of the paper was going dull some of the fine and detailed pencilwork that Eric includes in his illustrations. After another week of trial and error he was able to, once again, hand transfer each illustration to a durable yet smooth watercolor paper.

It looks like this paper has the perfect texture and strength for the artwork. So, it is back to the drawing board. Literally. After working on this book for a year, last week he sat down at his table to a stack of completely blank pages. And started again. 

To say I am proud of him would be a great understatement. 
I will update you soon.
Thank you for your kind thoughts.


  1. You both have a wonderful attitude about this whole thing. I am rooting for you both! Good luck!

    1. Thank you, Angela. The creative life has its share of ups and downs, but it is all worth it in the end!

  2. Good teamwork ;-)

    1. Thank you, it is all about the team. Two are better than one!


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