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Jack and the Beanstalk or my pitch to an agent

Thursday, November 2, 2017

One day about a month ago, I had a "let's see if I can find an agent" moment. I have always thought it would be a good thing.
A great thing, actually. I pursued it. I have found one of the best ways to research them is through Twitter. I have to say Twitter is awesome. I found several agencies that looked very interesting, went to their sites, looked up their guidelines and submitted my work. Nothing unusual. that is until last week. Last week, I received a response. They wanted to see more work.  I sent a few more samples that I didn't have posted anywhere. After a day or two more, they requested more. Specifically, my interpretation of nursery rhyme or children's classic story.

Originally I thought Mother Goose. After a day of spinning my wheels unsuccessfully, I decided I needed try something different. I remembered doing some watercolors a long, long time ago. Jack and the Beanstalk. I always loved that story. I worked up this piece as a result and pretty with it. I got some critiques on some Facebook groups. One that was super helpful was Indie Children's Book Authors and Illustrators. Thank you guys!

I have been pondering ways to improve my style for a long time. I recently have been inspired by a few game companies along with some of my favorite Disney artists and I think  I have found something. I hope so. 

Here were my steps

1. Worked up a bunch of sketches. First in pencil. Followed by basic shapes in Photoshop. Then added the Beanstalk of stroked curves created in Illustrator.

2. Using some custom brushes, created in further details in Photoshop. I drew Jack rather quickly using the Lasso tool. A first for me. I debated on cleaning him up and doing a full color render which you will see.

Not quite right yet
3. After some great feedback on some Facebook groups, I went too far with the revisions. It lost something. The magic was gone. (ACK!) Note: Facebook groups are a great place to get feedback. Totally recommend. Special shout out to Indie Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Ummm.... edits that didn't quite work out
4. Poor Jack. Nobody liked him. So enter the frustration zone. I don't know what to do. (double ACK) So after a bit, I realized, just go back to what you were all stoked about and think subtle changes. That's what I did. 

The final (WOOHOO)
And that's the story. I sent this off to the agent this morning. Wish me luck.



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