SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

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:congratulations  That is a GORGEOUS cover...sets the mood already!!! You must be over the moon :catmoon
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Congratulations, Tori! :yay
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Illustrating / Re: Paper or Digital?
« Last post by Sara Kuba on Today at 10:00 AM »
I definitely prefer digital! While I love using inks and watercolors here and there to play around in my sketchbook, I work so much faster digitally. Although I toyed around with digital art programs a lot starting in middle school, so I guess that explains my preference :'D
Although it is a lot more expensive for me to pay for the CC Suite each month, I'm so accustomed to using digital that I think it's worth the price. I'm also a huge fan of Cintiqs and think that they're worth the price, too! I recommend along with others here though to start with a regular tablet if you don't have the funds and are beginning to be acquainted with digital media ::-)

Thank you very much!  That was very insightful.  I never realized that cost to entry is such a huge barrier.  Is that because Adobe has a monopoly on these products?
There are certainly other programs you can use! If you have a Windows computer, you can use Paint Tool SAI. There aren't as many features, but it's great for getting gradient-like colors and AWESOME if you use line art a lot. It's not available on Mac platforms, though, so if you have a Mac, that won't work.

Another program I used to use before learning how to better use Photoshop is Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It's $25 a year, and if you buy it around Black Friday, they usually have a 50% off sale for your first year. It has a lot more painterly brushes then SAI does, and it has a brush stabilizer tool that makes SUPER clean line art. Granted, I don't think the painterly brushes are as nice as the ones you can download on Photoshop, which is primarily why I switched. (Also because it's what my college was primarily making us use. That, and they had a class on computer illustration. which made it a lot easier to get acquainted with the interface and features.)
Another cool thing about it is that you can save your files as Photoshop files, so if you're using it and decide to try using it in Photoshop instead, you can use the files in both programs! You can also still make your own brushes in Sketchbook Pro like you can in Photoshop, which is neat! :cheesy

If you decide you want to delve into Photoshop but you're worried about the cost, they have a photography package that includes Adobe Lightroom (no idea what it is, but it's included!) for only $10 a month. There's also the option that Karen suggested, with Photoshop Express! I think that's primarily for mobile devices, but if you usually work on your phone or tablet anyway, then it's great!
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The market does fluctuate & not every plot works with humans or animals, for that matter. Children can escape with anthropomorphised characters, as long as they can identify with where they fit into daily life &their role in that capacity.
Most of my stories are anthropomorphic & often I put my characters as a substitute for humans because I can use it as an opportunity to bring out human fault & overcoming them without the possibility of patronisination.
I did it with a gorilla who developed epilepsy!
My wip is about monsters, but I've never worked well with humans!! I'd love to see how your story develops.
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PAL Book Promotion / It's No SECRET Any More! Happy Book Birthday!
« Last post by Tori on Today at 06:02 AM »
Many, many thanks to all the Blue Boarders for your warm support and encouragement---SECRETS IN TRANSLATION, my YA from Fitzroy Books, is now out in the world! Italy..intrigue...limoncello...and a bit of romance!
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Agreeing with Anne.

And in my agent’s words, “There’s always room for great.”

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The market also moved on from anthropomorphized inanimate objects but all of a sudden we have anthropomorphized crayons, school buildings, french toast, etc. It moved on from didactic character development but now there are a slew of books about being nice and being a friend.

I'm not saying your instructor wasn't correct. I'm just wondering if it matters. Trends come and go.
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Hi! I am wondering what people here at SCWBI think about the idea of having animals talking to characters in picture books in general terms and I am curious to know if the market has moved on?

The reason I ask is that I have written a picture book which is an allegory and has a dreamy/ethereal feel - in which I have animals talking to the main 6 year old character.  A writing coach  gave me very positive feedback on it previously. The manuscript was then accepted by a publisher in the States but they then suddenly stopped communicating. I found out that they did this to somebody I knew as well. Recently, I paid to attend a writing course and the lady running it who is a published children's author has said that the market moved on from talking animals a long time ago.

I would appreciate your thoughts.
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Illustrating / Re: Request for pricing advice?
« Last post by karen-b-jones on Yesterday at 08:34 PM »
I'm answering more than a month after you posted, so it's possible the answer is moot.  However, the one thing that stood out to me from what you wrote was this. 

Make certain what dimensions they're talking about.   "Looks like" isn't good enough.  Get that pinned down first so you know exactly what you're doing.  It's possible the reason that full figures don't quite seem right to you for this image size/dimensions is that you have misunderstood the dimensions they want.  Or the level of detail.  If possible, see if they'll send you a sample of previous work (or see if you can track it down online) so you have a better idea what they're looking for. 

Good luck!
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Illustrating / Re: Paper or Digital?
« Last post by karen-b-jones on Yesterday at 08:18 PM »
I wanted to mention that new illustrators who want to work digitally might save some money on Adobe Photoshop by purchasing Adobe Photoshop Elements instead.  It's like a Photoshop Lite and, last I used it, had all the features that you really use day-to-day.  I mean, yeah, there's some advanced stuff it doesn't have, but you probably don't need all that.  It's way cheaper (around $100, I think) and you don't have to sign up for a subscription like with Photoshop CC. 

If you can possibly afford a display tablet, that's the way to go.  However, a non-display tablet can also work fine with a little practice.  My cintiq is wonderful except for one thing.  Its power/data combo cord has a poorly-designed connection.  It's really easy to bend the plug by accident (just by bumping it) and then you have to order a new cable and wait.  The cables are often back-ordered because everyone has this problem with them, apparently.  I now always keep a spare on hand.  However, the first time this happened to me was in the middle of a book project and I had to finish out the project with my old intuos.  Not as easy, but it worked and I didn't miss the deadline.  So, either type of pen tablet will work. 

The things I most like about working digitally is the ability to "Undo",  use layers to keep different elements separate, and to adjust the colors later. 
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