I have been working on a new, short illustration project which I will post more about soon, but I wanted to give a preview of one of the drawings from it.
I have been asked by many people to illustrate a personal story for them. Most often it is about a pet, a child or other family member that has died or is very special to the writer. They have shaped the story from their experience and want drawings to pull it together, contribute a visual likeness, and give a final tangible product that honors the memory. With this current project I am testing what the process of creating something like that looks like. I would love to be able to make myself available to illustrate these kind of personal stories but have found that I need something very concrete to give to those who inquire about it (most have never even had a conversation with an illustrator before let alone stepped into the world of drawing production). So, I am doing the extra work of tracking and recording my moments and words in order to be able to shape a sort of package that people who want something similar can choose from. I want authors to be able to put together their own combination of drawings (size, color, style, characters, etc…) and know exactly what kind of time and cost they are looking at when they request the illustrations. Since these kind of projects are usually requested by individuals, friends, friends-of-friends and not established brands or writers – extra clarity is needed at each stage (for expectations, timelines, etc…) and extra communication is needed with the storyteller (since these are often sensitive stories).
I am only in the first stages of making this project work but I am intrigued by the possibilities it holds for other stories like it in the future.