It's been a very 'stoppy-starty' project, which hasn't helped focus my thoughts- I started working with my Pooshnoozle character whilst on my MA, but a veritable plethora of obstacles have meant it's only been recently that I've started working on it again seriously.
On one hand, I know the book will be a far more well-rounded project now than it would have been had I gone straight into working on it from my course. I think I understand picture books better now, and I think the story is more solid. On the other hand, I've built up my expectations of it and freaked myself out a little. I thought working with an outside author was stressful- you're always worried as to whether you're living up to their expectations. However I forgot what a terrible meanie I can be to work for! I beat myself up daily!
I don't expect the pieces here will look anything like the finished book- at least I hope not, since they're sort of all over the place... They're more an initial train of thought, really; A starting point. You can see the main thing I'm trying to solve is background versus foreground.
My natural instinct is to always create a mega detailed piece of work. With Ollie and Pooshnoozle, it's very important though that the characters aren't competed with too much. The story is very character-centric, and the emotional interaction between the two is the priority. BUT, I do want bits of intense detail... afterall, that's what I love drawing. Balancing the two issues perfectly is going to take some more work, I think.
Regardless of how successful (or unsuccessful) these pieces are, how much I mentally slap myself upside the head, and how far I've got to go, I'm loving every minute of these types of problem. It's quite rarely that I can allow myself the time to properly work through something, and I'm really, really up for this! Afterall, this is the most exciting stage of a project. It is pretty terrifying, but the possibilities as to what this book could be are completely open to me; even more so than with 'Lively Elizabeth', and 'George and Ghost' because it is completely mine... Cripes!