Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome to your life... there's no turning back....

Woke up this morning and for a change - put on an OUTFIT. Not jeans and a t shirt and checkered vans as usual- grown up clothing. And new shoes. Did my hair and make-up. My husband took the daughter to school and we drove to Brooklyn together. A nervous subway ride later. I went to meet an agent.
The agent reached out to me after the New England SCBWI conference. (Seriously- someone has sprinkled me with pixie-dust lately)  I've been trying to create a book dummy- while simultaneously co-writing the story while sketching other story ideas and writing other story outlines to show the agent I am not just a one-image wonder. I've got stories in my head - and the ability to tell them.

The meeting was positive. The agent was friendly and helpful. Lots of good advice, - and I believe, some interest. It's going to be an ongoing starter relationship (no contract - just talking): my working hard on these dummies, showing the continuity in the characters, ability to tell a story.. finishing some color-ups- and sending it back to the agency. I really consider myself lucky to have this opportunity even if nothing comes of it. What a great chance to get inside knowledge on the inner workings of the children's book publishing world. 

Points made by agent: 
1. Still hearing that my stuff looks very animated (I have no idea how to do anything about this.. it's the way I draw)
2. Need to break out of the frame - work looks like it's designed for TV(heard that before too-I totally agree)
3. Change website (like yesterday) - I'm getting right on that...
4. Edit portfolio
5. Join critique group-(trying to choose between Patchoque or Brooklyn)
6, educate myself more on what is selling - what works- why it works in children's books.


So it's back to the drawing board. Fleshing out the good stuff... editing out the stuff that was good at the time, but doesn't serve me well anymore. All in all, it was a good day, except for the new shoes, they killed my feet. 

I kept singing that line in my head from the Tears for Fears song everybody wants to rule the world... "Welcome to your Life ... there's no turning back..." all morning alternating it with "I'm Gumby dammit!"  -Strange way to psych myself up, I know, but it worked. And it's true, I've been brave enough to jump off of the starting block and dive in - now there's no turning back- I'm swimming... freestyle.... 



11 comments:

Gina Perry said...

Hey, Congratulations on your meeting! Sounds like a great big step in the right direction for you (minus the shoes!) My husband shared this gem with me when I had to get the courage to quit my job last year, enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fWvub_WBho
It now gets stuck in my head during stressful moments but it's a big cheesy 80's style confidence boost nonetheless.
And you should definitely join a group, maybe even try both out to see which one fits you better before committing.

Kelly Light said...

Ah-Gina-san, you show me paint the fence! that video was great- 80's cheese, yes...but who's better than Mr. Miage? I think I will try both groups, I'm pretty sure Brooklyn will be better tho. - Hope your show was awesome!

Brian said...

That's awesome Kelly, you should be proud. The animation comment I don't agree with in the way that it's a deterrent. It's your style and people like it. You don't change your style to become the flavor of the month. Your style is part of what will draw in your audience.

As far as the "looks like it was made for T.V." I think a lot of that comes from cartoons being such a large influence. You convey very clearly and openly with your art, which is good for your audience but it can become a little static in the framing of it. There's nothing wrong with the drawings/renderings etc. But try to look at some of those comicbooks that have some of the funkier angles. Try and do something compositionally that makes you uncomfortable.

My 2 cents. I hope I'm not coming across like a know it all snob or anything. You're a much better artist than I. Just being a student of it myself though I was hoping to be helpful.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Kelly...
Don't let everyone (ie: the agent) twist your head around... you just need to find your niche. Your work is so strong.
If you want some nuance... come back to class for the summer!

LudaChristian said...

Kelly,

Great stuff here! I'm linking my blog to you & there's nothing you can do about it. :)


Good luck with the agent thing!

Christian Elden

bbrunner said...

You inspire me to try. I too have been out of the art world for a while getting side tracked with "easier" ways to go and now with 2 kids. I have wanted to get into children's illustration and have been trying to find time to make a book dummy and get a decent portfolio together again. I am glad to know that I am not alone.

Kelly Light said...

Wow - Thanks for all of the words of wisdom and encouragement!

Brian- you are right on the money, no need to apologize for good advice. I need to get funky with my perspective/compositions/angles. - Maybe I'll have a mojito before I draw tonight.... that might help.
Thanks!

Elizabeth- I'll probably email you about the agent meeting, but Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Christian - you are a talented guy- crazy how blogs connect artists. I like your work- it speaks my language!

B.Brunner: I hope you read this, cause I can't access a link from you. I believe in Moms who don't stop dreaming their own dreams, cause in doing that- we inspire our kids to do the same. Then we show them dreams are just the beginning, hard work is the way to reach your goals- and pride in one's self is the key to self esteem, and healthy self esteem is the wave that carries kids to the shore of happy, healthy adulthood. - A little "cum by -ah" but heartfelt... good luck and god's speed on your way- go show your artwork to lots of people!

Kelly Light said...

Wow - Thanks for all of the words of wisdom and encouragement!

Brian- you are right on the money, no need to apologize for good advice. I need to get funky with my perspective/compositions/angles. - Maybe I'll have a mojito before I draw tonight.... that might help.
Thanks!

Elizabeth- I'll probably email you about the agent meeting, but Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Christian - you are a talented guy- crazy how blogs connect artists. I like your work- it speaks my language!

B.Brunner: I hope you read this, cause I can't access a link from you. I believe in Moms who don't stop dreaming their own dreams, cause in doing that- we inspire our kids to do the same. Then we show them dreams are just the beginning, hard work is the way to reach your goals- and pride in one's self is the key to self esteem, and healthy self esteem is the wave that carries kids to the shore of happy, healthy adulthood. - A little "cum by -ah" but heartfelt... good luck and god's speed on your way- go show your artwork to lots of people!

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Hey this is great Kelly! I want to stay up to date... and I must agree with the others... I like your style and can't understand why "animated" would be negative

It speaks to me!!!

-ant

orangefrute88 said...

wow i'm so happy for you! moving forward, what a concept... keep going!

bbrunner said...

I did read what you wrote... Will have links by end of year... waiting for my new art studio to get set up... Thanks for the comment back I feel the same way. We have to work on our dreams so that our children believe that dreams can come true. :) Thanks