In a bit of a mini-celebration...medium...nope...I'm too stoked to put humble size labels for my motions! I've finally managed to put together from beginning to end, and publish my first illustrated book on my own! So, I thought I would write a bit about the story behind the book and where I'm hoping to go with it. Also, since I wasn't able to put any "book previews" on the Lulu Press site, thought I would do it here...with some bonus materials ;)
The story was something that immediately popped in my head when a friend of mine, at the time, opened up about their past. I was already a bit fan of Poe and his story about The Raven; but the person I was inspired by also identified with that story; so it sparked the imagery even more for me! This person's story about their struggles during loss, anxiety, depression and discovery of their identity seemed to resonate on a universal level. It was the way that they told their story to me, and partially my strong empathy (which usually is the source of my art and inspiration) towards this person, just became this colorful story within my mind.
So, and this was a moment that happened a bit before the pandemic hit the world, I was charged with inspiration, like never before, and decided to make a short story and print it through Shutterfly for their birthday, which was like 2.5 months away. A supper tight deadline but I was pumped! I kept it a secret for that time as well! I went to a cafe one day, and the make some quick sketches of the little raven character and it didn't take more than a page till I was sold on the design! The way the story laid out just poured out of my imagination and onto the next dozen pages of my sketchbook. I've never had a more clear certainty about a story's beginning, middle and end in my life!
In that one afternoon, it was totally drafted out, with probably the exception of the final page. But I knew that if I got into it, the flow would make it happen! I then scheduled my drawings for each day; honestly drew even more because it just felt so right! The pandemic hit and made it harder to go to cafes to draw, which is where I did most of my art work and spent most of my days off form my job (I was in California at the time).
I finished way before my own deadline, which helped because shipments were running super late during that time of the year, but I made my first (expensive but worth it) prototype...Hardcover, flat-spread printing, high quality color, gold foil lettering on the cover and spine, and a personalized drawing for the final page. NICE! Wish i bought another copy for myself to be honest, that was such a beautiful print. Haha!
Gave it to the intended person, I guess they liked it in their own way, but in the same time...maybe it was a bit too much to make such an intense gift for a friend. It felt a bit underwhelming after all that...and we lost touch after I moved back to Pennsylvania that summer. BUT, what I AM grateful for, from that once-friendship, was the butt kick I needed to feel the desire to create even more! I decided to push myself even more and publish this story on my own. I had plenty of positive feedback from those who looked through it. There was at least 1 image that each person stopped to take in and say "I feel that" or "that's exactly what I feel like". And the be able to capture that feeling for others felt so rewarding! I realized that this was exactly what I wanted to do! Make creative art pieces and publications like this for a living! (still far from that, but I'm so pumped right now!)
"Feathers" Today (February 2021)
On February 18th, 2021; I finally was able to format and submit "Feathers" to Lulu Press's self-publishing site! My first ever book for sale! I know it may take years to pick up, but I'm hoping to have a few more publications done by then! I'm so grateful to those who supported and donated to my GoFundMe campaign. It truly helped! I wasn't able to order the printed supply that I wanted to, so I could sell my stuff on my own; BUT it helped me get to pay for the copyrights and ISBN barcodes! As well as cover the day off of work I took to commit to getting it done and uploaded. So again, THANK YOU so much for that support!
I can't wait to hear that people might think about this book, as people order and receive it! I should be able to sell a few signed copies through my site as well! So that you aren't just purchasing blindly, I thought I would put a few more sneak-peek photos of some of the pages here, so you get a better idea of what's the book looks like!
Please spread the word and share the love! I really hope you like it and look forward to the creative journey ahead!
Sneak Peek Inside of the book:
Feathers is currently available for purchase through LULU PRESS, INC.
Hardcover: Coming Soon! (probably around $25)
Ebook: Coming Soon!
Signed Copies: Hard and Softcover (coming soon!)