Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results. Henry Enoch Onuoha

Going for a walk this weekend required a jacket. The crisp air, blue sky, and the company of my daughter and our dog made it fun. We have a little pond we love to walk around. There are benches if we want to sit and watch the birds. We love walking but don’t make time for it often enough. A walk by myself is enjoyable but with others, it becomes even better.

Yesterday I painted the last painting for my children’s book. As I patted myself on the back and was wrapping things up for the evening  I decided I will paint at least one more to replace the painting that was to end the book. When I finish this one will I look at others and think I should repaint, compose differently, change the colors, or refine the details?

There are some really great blogs on illustrating children’s books and one of the things they are telling me is don’t depict exactly in the pictures what the words say. Use your pictures and your words to tell a bigger story. In small picture books of only 32 or 36 pages, this makes sense. I looked at a picture book of my daughters and in it, the author says a new puppy and the old dog touched noses and that is what the picture depicts, but I think it works. The new puppy is a tiny Dachshund and the dog they already have is a huge Great Dane.

We might not even know what makes our kids or ourselves gravitate to certain books. My youngest sister tells me she tried to get her daughter interested in Pete the Cat books when she was younger. Her daughter wasn’t interested in them even though my sister was.

I’ve taken a few trips to Indigo and some of the children’s books are beautiful. Can books be too beautiful for us to want our children to handle? Well-loved books will end up looking like well-loved toys. To see what books parents are buying and kids are reading I go to Value Village.

Authors are not encouraged to illustrate their own books. Some publishers don’t want books that rhyme. When my daughter gave me advice on my book as someone who reads a lot of books to preschool children she said to include lots of pictures, lots of colors, and make it rhyme. When she looked at what I put together, she said,” Mom, you need more pictures.” I’m also getting feedback from my son’s fiancĂ© a teacher who reads books to her students.

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. Mother Teresa

Creating this children’s book has been fun and very intimidating.  I didn’t know where to start until I started trying to tell the young man who was going to illustrate it in Illustrator what I wanted. I could clarify my vision when trying to tell him what to do, but when it was only me I struggled. In the end, our collaboration fell apart, but I owe him a huge debt and without our collaboration and monthly meetings it wouldn’t be where it is today.

I can see the value in a more talented illustrator doing the illustrations. Illustrators aren’t cheap. Of course, no one knows what kind of sales a book will receive so making back that investment is a gamble. I understand with the big publishers the writer and illustrator don’t meet and the writer doesn’t have control of what the illustrations for their book will look like.

This may make for a better book. The illustrator’s concept may be much better than what the author would come up with. I like the idea of collaboration and I’ve seen firsthand how powerful it is. When we put our heads together who knows what we will come up with. It is hard to bounce ideas off of a wall. When another person bounces ideas to us and us to them, clarity emerges, and something small can grow into something bigger.

What is the role of co-creation and collaboration in our daily work?

Collaboration divides the task and multiplies the success. Unknown

Collaboration allows us to know more than we are capable of knowing by ourselves. Paul Solarz

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. Desmond Tutu

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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