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Newbie (writer/illustrator) here with a few naive questions

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Hello all
I was a cartoonist awhile ago (more than 20 yrs. Lets just say that okay? (grin) ) and then switched to writing and had a little success
I have a couple of short story collections on Kindle
you can see the cover to the collection and a brief description of the stories within here (again-- PG rated stories)

But now I'd like to return to what i do best- draw.
So I was thinking of buying some illustration board and begin sketching out the illustrations
I already have 3 stories written (they made the rounds 20 years ago and though they all got rejected, I did get handwritten comments by editors encouraging me to keep trying) and I have taken them off the shelf

My questions are:
I know that there are several answers to size (both traditional and vertical formats) but, what is a general accepted image size on a 11 x 17 page?
If I recall correctly its 10 x 15
Unfortunately I dont have a scanner hooked up to my computer (tight budget issues) but is it possible to do the illustrations in black and white (pencil/ink) and still send in copies telling them they can have a colorist of their choice color the material?
I know this is done for comicbooks and its been awhile since I've tried to submitted children material but I was wondering if there are a few publishers who'd be open to this?
OR should I contact another illustrator who'd be willing to scan and color my work (which of course, I know, whould mean that a writer/illustrator would be commisioning an illustrator to finish the color on his work) But theres little choice for now since I have little money for a scanner (at least one that would hold an 11 x 16 sized page

anyway thats my dilema and hopefully I can get an answer or two here
I plan to start in the fall (I have a couple more novellas to finish for Kindle (and hopefully a bit of cash reward from it)
#1 - June 12, 2010, 04:30 PM
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 04:46 PM by tuttle300 »

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Why can't you take your work to a copy place (like Kinko's) and have it scanned so you can finish the color yourself? It would probably end up cheaper than hiring another artist to help with it, and then when an editor and/or art director requests changes you would be able to make the changes yourself. I know they have large scanners. (I had one huge oversized photograph scanned onto a disk by Kinko's at 600 dpi so I would be able to use it in my WWII POW book.)

I would think twice about allowing another illustrator to work on your books for you. I think an editor and/or art director would think twice about this, too, as they may find it hard enough to work with one person on the art, much less two people! Not to mention how very expensive it could get to keep having to go back to the other illustrator for every little change the publisher needs to have made in the artwork.

In my opinion, it would be MUCH better to do it yourself, even if you have to wait a while until you can afford your own scanner.

<Just my 2¢>

Verla Kay :flowers2
#2 - June 12, 2010, 07:25 PM
Verla Kay

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Hello Tuttle300.

It's great you are getting back into the swing of things with illustration.

Verla is right. Fed Ex/Kinkos offers scans at great rates. If you keep your original 11" x 17" or under, they can scan it in one of their regular scanners. Thumbnails arent' good for holding too much memory, especially PDF files, so I take my external hard drive in. This works very well. If you want to both write and illustrate, it would be best as Verla says, to do the illustrations yourself from start to finish. I would think that the copyright end of things may be a bit difficult too if you went about it taking the route you suggested.

Here is a great link for general questions you may have:

It also may be beneficial to see if you have an active SCBWI chapter near you. Many chapters have ongoing projects for aspiring illustrators.

~ You've come to a great place to ask questions.
#3 - June 12, 2010, 07:46 PM
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 07:39 AM by funny stuff »
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thanks to you both
#4 - June 13, 2010, 01:52 AM

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If coloring is an issue for you, you might want to consider working in a graphic novel format. With your cartooning background it would be right up your alley.

Also, picture book customs have changed a great deal since 20 years ago. It might be a good idea to take an afternoon or two to hang out at the local book store and immerse yourself in recently released books.

Good luck!
#5 - June 13, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Hi and welcome, tuttle300!  :welcome

If you're a writer/illustrator making a dummy is very useful. The link Funny Stuff provided to yellapalooza has a great tutorial on dummy making. I would also highly recommend getting Uri Shulevitz's Writing With Pictures from the library. You might find that some of the technical stuff is outdated if you get an old edition, but is still fabulously informative and inspiring.

Also, check out Harold Underdown's site, the Purple Crayon.

And if you haven't already, check out the illustration threads here on Verla's. A wealth of information has been shared, and you will learn a lot.

With the age of computers, there are things that illustrators used to have to do, like color separations, that we no longer have to worry about. That type of thing is now done with a click of the mouse after you have handed over your work. With 4 color process printing, spot coloring is quite uncommon. If you look at current books in print, artists are doing illustrations in a wide variety of media. Watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, cut paper and fabric collage, bas relief plasticine, digital, pastel, and many others. (I'm wondering if your question about having your worked colored was pertaining to older methods?)

Good luck! I hope some of this was helpful!  :goodluck
#6 - June 13, 2010, 08:40 PM
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