Well, now that the holidays are over, I guess I can use them as an excuse for not having blogged in a while. While I was gone I made new cards, but also sent away a book proposal, and samples to a children's magazine publisher. I have done a lot of painting this last year, and I hope to do more this year.
Clearly, greeting cards are not going to make enough money for me, so I have to concentrate on something else. I would like to write & illustrate children's books or just plain books. Since I'm having trouble getting someone to pay me for greeting cards, I might as well struggle at what I really want to do most, right? My idea that I sent to Harcourt Brace is Dinosaurs are Terrible Lizards! The idea is that dinosaurs' names all have meanings in Latin or Greek ("dinosaur" literally means "terrible lizard"), and I thought playful illustrations depicting the meaning would be fun. This evolved from an earlier idea to do a book about dinosaurs with swords; all I could come up with was a tyrannosaurus with a sword & a crown, sitting on a throne. "Tyrannosaurus Rex is a Tyrant King!" (again, the literal translation of the word). Once I made that connection, and gave up the sword stipulation for the other pictures, I began thinking of other illustrations, like "Triceratops rides a Tricycle: Tri means Three!" I sent it as a proposal to get feedback, and work with the publisher. I read that picture books are rarely a one man job. Also, I wanted to send something out, and it could be quite some time before I come up with 32 finished paintings illustration dinosaur names.
It could take a while to hear back from Harcourt, so I continued to make paintings. I looked at my favorites over the last year, and realized that I had a lot of female heroes, saints, & goddesses. One of my areas of focus is I want to give young girls role models to look up to. There are a lot of role models for boys, but not as many for girls. I thought next in that series could be Sacajawea. She has a big story and I'm still trying to figure out how best to handle it. I found some great photos of Native American women to work from. As I work on this big project, I have grouped together some of these historical paintings and sent them to a magazine publisher that produces historical magazines for kids: Cobblestone.