So yeah, today was the day! I mailed all the artwork for the book I've been working on for the past year and a half at least! It went through many channels for approvals, from art director to author to turtle scientist! And it made it! Non fiction books are a bit different than fiction, lots more to check for accuracy. Well I feel so good to have it done and off in the mail. I think it will be out in early 2009 but I will keep you posted on that!
Some things I learned while working on this project:
1. While it is good to strive to do my best, there comes a point where too much perfectionism is, well, too much. I redid most of these at least 3 times, and would keep redoing them if time were not an issue. I paid for that with having to extend the deadline and even though the publisher was wonderful and kind, I feel bad about not meeting it. I hope that with time and more experience, I become more comfortable in my own painting shoes, so that I wont struggle so much with trying to get things 'perfect'.
2. I should not commit to any large projects with deadlines until my daughter is older. I work a full time job, and we never once used a babysitter the whole time I was working on this book. My husband and I work opposite schedules and are rarely home at the same time, so painting time was and still is scarce.
3. I love sea turtles. I want to travel to the warm oceans and see all of this in real life.
4. I got too comfortable painting snow and ice for the past few years that I've lived in Alaska. I enjoyed the challenge of finding new ways to mix colors and learned alot.
5. I have a renewed interest in improving my drawing skills. I would like to find a small sketchbook that will fit easily in my bag, and really try to draw a few times a day while out and about in the world.
6. I learned that mixing darks and painting night scenes in watercolor is very challenging for me! I would like to get better at it.
7. No matter how imaginative my coral reef illustrations got, they were nothing compared to the photos of the real reefs I would find. There is every color, every shape, every texture you can imagine in some of those reefs! I want to go!
Hmmm, there must be more but for now that's all I can think of. Thanks especially to BarrierIslandGirl for sharing her wonderful Florida beach photos and Loggerhead turtle hatchling photos with me. And in fact she's got some new ones up right now on her blog!