Several years ago I got a contract for a picture book I had written and illustrated. When I turned in the final images, the book was cancelled.
I had made the editorial and illustration changes my picture book group and then the publisher’s editorial staff suggested. My realistically portrayed main character stayed under the watchful eye of her dad. She never smacked her chewing gum or stamped her feet. I had no idea how my work could be any more appropriate for the children’s book industry.
When attending to the remarks of children’s book groups and the publisher’s editorial guidance didn’t lead to a successful book, I decided to stop listening—to follow my heart—and take artistic chances!
I created a solid little girl with red hair that stuck out in all directions, much like the rock star PINK’s hair does.
I wanted a noisy girl who races around the beach in joyous abandon, while dragging a blow-up seal twice her size. How cool if her home was a retro beach trailer?
Lizzie and her pal Lou Seal were born!
Now sharpen your pencil, swing your hips, and draw Lizzie with me! Be sure not to miss the last 30 seconds!
I began experimenting with mixed media. I created page spreads using photographs of seashells that I collected from the beach. On the back cover I painted partially over a photograph of a sand castle I built.
I tried hand lettering. Then I threw sand across the page!
I wanted Lou Seal to look like she was made of plastic. I tried using an encaustic wax process. That worked for Lou Seal, but I discovered— surprise, surprise—it created dynamic ocean waves!
Now I write about the things I love—feisty girls, retro trailers and the beach. I boldly experiment with new artistic techniques. I’m having fun!
LIZZIE and LOU SEAL is now available for preorder!
If you preorder LIZZIE and LOU SEAL and email a screen shot receipt to Sky Pony’s logo pony Winston Sparkles (he kicks up his heels when he gets mail!) at:
you will be eligible to win Petal Power, a signed print, by Patricia Keeler.
And that’s not all!
You will be entered into the GRAND PRIZE
of a picture book manuscript critique by the
Sky Pony editor of LIZZIE and LOU SEAL, Kylie Brian.
Next week: Using Encaustic Wax in a Picture Book
Meet Patricia Keeler at Book Expo America 2017, Booth AM34, this June!