I've just finished writing the second children's book in my "Together In Peace And Harmony" series. My mission now is to supply parents with books containing multicultural diversity for youngsters, ages 2-6. I believe that if we familiarize children at a very young age with differences, they will embrace rather than fear them. Ultimately my goal is to experience world peace before I'm called to vacate the premise, if you get my drift.
Now I must choose an illustrator. You might think it's a piece of cake to find a person to draw pictures for a children's book. Actually, working in this particular genre is more difficult that writing a novel and having a cover made. First it takes hours to find the talent and creativity needed for such a project. Then you need to study every artists's porfolios to determine if their style fits your story. This takes a long time, and if there are two or three that are close in style, trying to select the right one gives you fits! Setting a budget is a financial puzzle, making sure to be fair yet at the same time making it lucrative enough to entice the illustrators. When the artists respond to your post, you must ask the right questions so that you can determine their work ethic and personality traits. If he or she and yourself are not compatible, finishing the project can take an enormous amount of time and frustration.
Are you getting the picture yet? Over the passed three weeks, I've accomplished everything I've listed above and have actually narrowed down my search to two candidates. One is a lovely young lady from India I've worked with before on another of my series. She is extremely talented, highly creative, and a dream to work with. We have a great relationship and seem to always be on the same page, no pun intended. She has expressed a real interest in this project and I couldn't be happier. The only fly in the ointment is that she's getting married in December and I don't want to add to her stress with deadlines.
The second candidate, one I've never worked with before, is listed as a 'rising talent' on the site I use when searching for freelancers. Her portfolio is impeccable showing great creativity and talent. She has no problem with the budget, and is highly interested in the project. Her answers to my questions met my approval, and she even had a few questions of her own which I always encourage my illustrators to voice. I think it shows confidence and maturity when they want to clarify something or insert an idea. To top it all off, she lives thirty minutes from my home. I've never worked with a hometown illustrator, and I guess it would be fun to have lunch and talk business at the same time.
To complicate things, I've informed both that I'll be making a decision today! Does it look like I'm anywhere near making THAT DECISION TODAY?
What to do? Choosing an illustrator to bring one's story to live is very taxing and extremely stressful!
I'm going to mull it over and take as long as I need to finalize the deal. Usually I'm very sure of myself and can decide without all this drama, but each of my books means the world to me, and
choosing the right illustrator is key.
I'm praying for a thunderbolt to appear above my head and God to appear letting me know which one is THE ONE!
Come on, God, I'm listening, I'm not trying to be pushy but I've only got less than twenty-four hours to seal the deal!