Have ya’ Met Me?

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As a published, professional illustrator and author of children’s literature, I am always looking for projects that will not only challenge me, but further my rather enjoyable career.

I am proficient in Adobe Photoshop, and I draw directly on the computer screen using an Intuos 4 tablet and pen.

I also create illustrations in traditional mediums, like watercolor, acrylic, or colored pencil and I have been known to mix the three very effectively!

Originally a fine artist, I made the switch to illustrating children’s literature in 2003 and I’ve never looked back. As a child, I had very little access to Picture Books, so I’ve had a blast acquainting myself with them as an adult.

I was born in Florida, but I love mountains and cool weather, go figure! I look forward to fall most of all, with it’s colors, smells and festivals. Autumn fills me with a happiness that has been dormant throughout the long, hot summer. I suddenly come alive again!

Although illustrating is my life, I also teach art and mentor up-and-coming illustrators and authors.

Thank you for taking a look around. I promise to do my very best in providing you with information that can help further your writing/illustrating career. I wish you every success and look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Have ya’ Met Me?

  1. Hello. My 9 yo neice writes books and I’m trying to get them published. Is this something you could assist with. I seen a message on FB that you posted.

    Thank you!
    Char

    1. Thank you for reaching out to me! It’s nice to know that my Facebook posts are being well-received.

      It’s wonderful to hear that you are so supportive of your little niece! I have several nieces and nephews as well, and I believe it’s incredibly important that we “aunties” encourage all their creative endeavors. I consider myself their personal cheerleader!

      There’s a lot to consider when publishing a children’s book. It is quite a process! Since your niece is only nine, consider the fact that once her book is published, it’s out in the world. You can’t “take it back” or have a “do-over”. Once a single copy is sold, there can be both amazing AND/OR terrible consequences!

      The “amazing” results are obvious to everyone who wishes to become a published author. The book is now available for sale, and if you are able to market yourself well, you will sell many copies and acquire a fan base for any future books that you may produce. Becoming a published author awards one a great sense of accomplishment, as many people aspire to do it – but few ever follow through successfully.

      As for a young author, publication can be a great ego booster, but if not handled well – it can launch a life-long need for continued accolades and approval in order to feel successful. Consider what publication means…it means putting your child’s heart-felt, hard work and talent in front of everyone they know or will ever know. If it has even the slightest flaw, will people be forgiving (?) or will they be quick to point it out? Negative comments are difficult for adult authors to handle, but for a child author it can be brutally painful-and even dissuade them from continuing to write – even for enjoyment.

      Every manuscript that has ever crossed my desk has needed work before it was truly ready for publication. 98% of them were written by adults who had a great amount of writing experience. About 75% of them already had other published books in the marketplace. They all needed content editing and proofreading, which can be costly. Every writer I’ve ever known learns the value of revising their manuscript over and over, until it reaches perfection. Few children have the patience for that, yet their work is subjected to the same scrutiny once it’s in the hands of the public.

      So, should you continue to pursue publication for your niece, at the tender age of nine? That really depends on her personality, strength of heart, and her own desires. I recommend that you sit down with her and have a chat. Children prefer instant gratification, so the long process of publication will be tedious for her, as it takes time. When you ask her, “would you like to me to help you publish your book?”, her immediate thought is that it will happen overnight. We all know that’s not possible, so if you don’t explain it properly, you’re setting her up for disappointment and frustration.

      Most importantly, think about WHY you’re considering this. I mean, are you looking for brownie points in the “auntie” department (I always do!) – or – are you thinking that this could be a launching point for her life-long love of writing?

      “Supporting” our little ones in their creative endeavors can be done in many ways that are equally gratifying to the child. Because of the time and money involved, publishing her raw work publicly is extreme, when she (most likely) would be just as thrilled if you passed around copies of her story and read it out loud at the next big family get-together. You could consider paying a professional illustrator to do a single, simple illustration (cost’s between $50-$100) to accompany the story, and frame it alongside the text as a keep-sake that would permanently mark this moment in her evolution as a budding writer! It would have the same impact, would be beautiful on the wall, much more cost-effective and it would take far less time. Not to mention, no-one would EVER dare say anything negative about it! And for you – MAJOR brownie points would be awarded.

      We all need the love and support of our family. Loving someone also means protecting them from potential harm. I wrote and illustrated my first picture book at the age of 40 and submitted it to publishers. My loving family (including my aunt) thought it was brilliant, but it was never accepted for publication. At the time, self-publishing was much more difficult – almost impossible for a novice. Looking back, I am SO GRATEFUL that publishers rejected it! After twenty years in the business, I NOW know that it was far from ready for publication – it was cute, but it was a MESS for so many reasons!! At the time, I would not have believed it!!

      Since then, I have learned a LOT and gone on to publish many, many books, using the knowledge that I gained through my studies, research and mistakes. If that first book had been published, by now it would have been hatefully picked-apart by book reviewers, teachers and my peers – and it would have tarnished the reputation for excellence that I now enjoy.

      My loving aunt is now 74 and very proud of me. No matter how she chose to show her support, it has meant the world to me! Just knowing that she was in my corner, pushed me to explore all the creative sides of my personality and talents. She is one of the greatest loves of my life!

      I hope that answers your questions. I’ve spent many years working with children’s book writers and I know how difficult it is produce a truly well-written book. I don’t think a child is ready for the often harsh world of publication. One’s childhood should be protected and enjoyed as long as possible. Creativity and talent should grow with time and be gently coaxed into maturity. Your love is all she really needs.

      With warm sincerity, Lisa

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