Draw Me An Elephant or How to Hire An Illustrator



Draw me an Elephant

I often receive emails from writers who are interested in hiring me as an illustrator for their picture books. I tend to reply with the same questions and answers. I decided to create this post so it’s easily accessible for future interested people.

DO I NEED ILLUSTRATIONS TO SUBMIT MY MANUSCRIPT TO A PUBLISHER?
No, you do not need illustrations to submit your manuscript. Manuscripts are submitted to the publishing houses. Once your manuscript is acquired, the publisher will pick a professional children’s illustrator for the book.

HOW DO I SUBMIT MY MANUSCRIPT?
Submit your work to well-known and respected publishers. Do your homework by researching the publishing houses and their previous publications.

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Summer Break Coloring Pages



Summer Break Coloring Pages by Juana
Yes, it’s that time of the year! The much anticipated SUMMER BREAK.
(Jaws’ theme song playing – loudly)

Starting Monday, May 30th I’ll have a weekly coloring page for you to print out and hand to your little ones. This will last through Monday, September 5th.

Neither rain, nor shine, nor holiday, nor tantrum, nor conference will stop the 9am PST weekly delivery. That’s a total of 15 coloring pages to keep your most precious and shortest loved ones temporarily busy.

Why am I doing this? This household has not one but two little ones constantly (and I mean constantly) requesting drawings of different things/animals/situations so they can paint while I work. I thought this summer I would share it with the world and give other hard-working moms and dads a few minutes to focus on bills, work, laundry or just to lift their feet up, savor that iced tea and read that magazine that has been waiting for you. Now you can!

It sounds good, doesn’t it? So sign-up and get your Weekly Coloring Pages delivered to your inbox or subscribe to my blog and get those few minutes to yourself. We know you deserve them!

Would you like to make a subject request? Just post yours on the comments! Requests are on a first-come first-serve basis. I’ll try my best to honor most requests.

Other than that, see you next Monday!

COLORING PAGES ALREADY DELIVERED

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Of How Juana Celebrated Fans



Many personal traits may question my mental sanity. If numbers are involved, then the answer becomes clear to people: Juana is nuts! I can say to my defense: I’m not crazy, I’m precise. And the hubs can attest to that.

So 2 weeks ago I jumped on the bandwagon, followed the trends and opened a FB Fan Page. I know what you are thinking and I can assure you that these two paragraphs will connect. Bear with me. Opening the FB Page was not an egotistical move. It was all about networking. I can confess the sole thought of creating the page sent cold chills down my spine. 14 hours of chills later I clicked on “Make Page Public” and I had Juana Martinez-Neal – Illustrator Facebook Fan Page.

I stepped up to the plate and sent my invitations, emailed my suggestions, twitted my tweets, and status updated my LinkedIn to let people know that I had a FB Page. It was official and I preferred facing the embarrassment of self-promotion through all my networking avenues than to have my FB Page with 3 fans – one of which was the hubs.

Seeing the number go up was exciting. It really was. Again, we are talking numbers here. Did you see the pattern? In my excitement, I set a goal… 150. Why 150? I dunno but it did sound precise enough to my standards. 150 it was. When we (me and my work) hit 150 FB Fans we were going to celebrate. So here I am to officially announce you that it happened yesterday!

— This illustration is to celebrate YOU, all of YOU who support and cheer me on and my work. To all of my 150 and all of YOU reading me now: Thank you, Danke, Gracias, Obrigado, Toda raba, Terima Kasih, Xie_Xie, Nandri, Gràcies and in all of the other languages that you can imagine. It means the world. —

A little inside on how this piece happened below and the commercial break at the very end with a FB “Become a Fan” link. If I’ve got this far, I may just bluntly ask for more fans.

Let me know what you think of this article, of the new site, of me actually *writing* a post. Your comments feed my blog! And don’t forget to click on the images so you can see them closer.

We are *CELEBRATING* 150 FB Fans!

THE PROCESS

I thought this piece may help me show my working and thought process. Hope you enjoy it! Remember to click on the images so you can see them bigger.

I normally start with a very general idea of what I want. In this case, I wanted a “150″ so I started with the numbers and continued by adding characters. The more the merrier.

the initial 150

As I was working, I knew I wanted to have me in there so I drew myself in a different paper. More often than I’d like I run out of room.
*Hint: look 4 and 5 photos down and you’ll see how I had to masking tape my legs to the rest of my body*

that's me :D

Do you think everything is really planned ahead of time? Wrong! In the middle of my sketching my 4.5 year-old stomped in the room with a Lucha Libre hat on and his knight, silver fabric boots. He was in!

My sweet boy

Well, it looked good in my head and placing paper after paper on top of each other but I really wanted a fox.

the fox and some add-ons

Here are all of the illustrations together. I kept adding pages as I felt I needed something else. I ended up with 7 sketched pieces of paper. And now what?

Lots of illustrations for one big Celebration
How should I do this?

I scanned everything in Photoshop and saved all at 300dpi as psd files. You can see them here.

All in my HD.

Once everything was scanned, I created a larger canvas for my file where I added a layer for each illustration or element as I saw fit. I rely a lot on masks and use the multiply type layer quite often when I work.

All files in one big psd file

In Photoshop I played with sizes and moved elements around. But something was missing and I was feeling a disconnection in between the elements. So I did a print out in an 8.5″x11″ and sketched what I felt was needed.

Almost done but there's corrections...

Then sketched, scanned, saved as different files and added to my main psd file. And I was done!

We are *Ta da!

And here a couple of girlies that didn’t make it in the illustration but still say thank YOU. They were actually the first 2 sketches that I got done.

Thank You!

No, really... thank YOU

COMMERCIAL BREAK

And if you are still with me, if you are not an official fan yet and if you don’t mind my bluntness, here’s the link to *My* FB Page.

Become a Fan

> Stay updated via: email | rss | facebook

DOARD: Hey doggie



Some more DOARD*s. This time character study of a bandana doggie.

Here doggie, doggie

me schleepy

la la lala la

hmmm?!

> Stay updated via: email | rss | facebook

DOARD: Happy-Pig day!



Today was Pig day that to me translates to Happy-Pig day so here’s 3 DOARD* of happy pigs to celebrate such a nice unofficial holiday.

DOARD = Doodle of a Random Day

Happy-Pig day!

Another Happy-Pig

IF – Packed



Blankie and all here I go!

Lellie escapes to Wildflower Field

IF – Island



Lellie - Island

IF – Clutter



Cluttered and scattered mind.

Lellie - Clutter

AU – Tiny Portraits’ Update



Only one more week to have the “Tiny Portraits” Workshop at Art Unraveled. Almost forgot to buy the canvases for the students. I have a Supply Fee so I provide some goodies plus their canvas.

It’s been hectic the last few weeks. I have neglected the blog and a few important things in my life. My hubbie and my boys are not in that list :)

A fun sketch that will be supplied as an option piece to use as inspiration (!) Hope you and the students enjoy it.

Art Unraveled - Tiny Portraits' Sketch

Piggie’s Little World – III



My piggies’ book is almost finished. Only have to paint the cover. Here’s the first round for the cover.

Piggies - Cover Sketch

Piggies for all interior pages are being scanned as I write. Should get them back on Thursday. Boy, I miss them. A pretty bad scan of page 6 below. Aren’t they happy?

Piggies - Page 06

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