The advice you sometimes hear from others is "Try something new!" Take a break and have a go at..." All well meaning and probably true. I tend to enjoy my comfort zone until I realise that I need a new challenge. Learning something new is good right? How hard can it be? Quite hard in fact.
Over the past year I have been working on Illustrations and book cover design inbetween painting. Before fine art took over my life I worked with graphic art. Posters, designs of all types and lettering. All by hand. Now of course hand drawings are still important, but these designs need to go digital too. Enter comfort-zone-defeating-learning-curve!
Do you enjoy reading manuals? I belIeve this is a skill in itself. A real advantage if you can do it. Sadly when I see the manual I put it aside. Opening a manual leads to confusion and distraction. Learn by doing is my mantra. So I jumped into digital image design and, as it turned out, the water was chilly!
I did have to humble myself and refer to the manual a few times. Basically every time I needed to know something. These programs are complicated. The urge to illustrate by hand and get s teenager to digitise the images was immense. However I had an incentive. Mainly this was to remain in my wifes's good books (pardon the pun). You see I was employed by her to help illustrate her new children's book, A Chirstmas Tail.
My richly talented wife had prepared the drawings in outline form and I had to digitise them and add color. Set the pages and design the cover too. Fotunately a children's book is short. But when you are coming to grips with using new tools and software it does take time. A lot of time and patience. Both of which are usually not in great supply. Looking back I can say that I did enjoy the process. Let's keep that our little secret shall we?
The Sense of Achievement is dwarfed only by relief!
The book was finally completed and launched a few days ago. We are all very happy with the result and filled with plans to start the next one. In the New Year.
I can mention that when you go the indie publisher route there is another learning curve in getting the book formatted for markets like Amazon and Kobo. Setting up your own store and making sure that your readers get the book. This is a story on its own that I will get into in some detail another day.
A fun part of indie publishing is being able to offer readers things like Book Bundles at great prices. This is exactly what you will find when you check out the great offer at www.kerrindewey.com. A great set of books for the holidays plus A Christmas Tail as a bonus for the young ones. I hope that you enjoy the books and especially the illustrated children's book.
Let us know how what you think.