It’s always great to hear about a new illustration commission… sorry, potential commission. Eggs, after all are not chickens so there is no point in counting them. Unless you want to make an omlette in which case counting eggs makes sense so go ahead but…ummmmm I don’t remember the illustration commission having much to do with eggs so I think I’ve become a little lost. Back to the point. I was informed of a potential commission from a well known publisher. The project sounded great and I wanted to do it but wait, what about the other projects? You mean the other 3 projects that I’m working on giving me no time to take on a fourth? Yes, that’s right. Those projects. Bum! It’s always the way. You stack up a bunch of projects and then a real dinger comes along and there is no room. What do you do? Say yes and slowly watch your life fall apart?Once I would have said a big NO to it due to a full schedule but I have since learned of the fickle nature of book publishing. Projects slide and slip and fall down holes never to be seen again. Somehow I would shoe-horn that project even if I had to beg, plead and blub to get those publishers to move some of their deadlines. A big YES and time to burn some graphite!So, the publisher wanted a sample for which they would pay. Yep, that’s the quality we are talking about here. None of those shifty, street corners Spivs asking for a free favour, “Won’t take you long mate, good for you portfolio.” This is the real deal. So the first thing I needed to ask was which of my work had inspired them to consider me? That would give me some idea of the look they are after. The Boo-a-bog character in the image above was what they had seen and liked. My main problem then was getting the Boo-a-bog out of my head so that I could draw a new monster. Plenty of scribbling ideas did the trick and I eventually produced the characters below.
Unfortunetely, this commission didn’t happen for me. The schedule would have been a problem and instead of lamenting a lost project I would have been gibbering over how much sleep a human really needs.
So, did I learn anything from this experience?
I have no idea why I didn’t get the project, that comes down to the editors and author and their preferences. If I had got the project then I may have leared something about the foolhardy scheduling of an optomistic idiot. However, since I didn’t learn that then I will be shoe-horning my shedule again.