@Janette I think @Melissa-Bailey-0 nailed it on everything she said.
I do think that your personal stuff is more interesting. Not that I don't like the non-personal ones, but your personal stuff has something very unique to them. You have something very whimsical in your textures, for instance, the tree on the red swing illustration is beautiful.
I already told you my story regarding style in my fantasy maps illustrations, so will just add, go for what is you, start developing from there. I think we can never be at our best until we are able to be authentic in what we do. And yeah, sometimes it is a life process to be able to live in our authentic self, but I assure you, it is worth it. It may seem scary now, but after the first scary steps, you will feel much more happy and fulfilled.
Late to the party but if you are still looking for feedback, I'd say #4. #1 looks the most bright eyed and playful but also looks younger. For me #4 combines both the creative playful soul look and the age. (They're all great.)
@Laurel-Aylesworth-0 thanks for the heads up! Gonna check this out.
Last year, right before lockdown, I had a bunch of postcards printed that never got sent out, cuz ... you know! Posting digital postcards might help to get things going (or at least get me back on track with that aspect of marketing).
@Toony-Days so I'm thinking of a term I've learned before called 'edge craft'... in a nutshell it's push your concept right to its extremes.. so in the case of the squirrel I suppose you can execute that notion by using a more extreme range of shapes? I did a quick sketch using the 4 if the same sketch, and I used the resizing and liquify tools to exaggerate certain shapes
I think the idea is similar to 'draw 50 somethings' in that it forces you to the edge of your comfort zone.
@Janette is your client a member of SCBWI? They have great resources for self-publishers, including webinars and The Book. SCBWI-Michigan (my regional chapter) has indie advisors (I volunteer as the PB indie advisor) to help self-publishing authors through the process.
On the printers others have mentioned, I’ve worked with both in the past (just did book design for a client using KDP and Ingram Spark, in fact).
Ingram Spark — they do print a landscape 11 x 8.5 in hardcover but there are limitations with that trim size. Their printing can be hit or miss — that has to do with a couple factors: print options that have been chosen and they have several printers they work with so there’s no guarantee where your book will be printed and at times quality control is spotty. If your client chooses to go with Ingram Spark, they should choose the premium color option for best color printing, even though it will cost between $8-$9 per book, plus shipping.
Lulu — I worked with them years ago and don’t recommend them. Granted, they could have improved their printing and customer service, but from what I’ve heard, they’re still sub-par in terms of going the print-on-demand route.
While I haven’t worked with Print Ninja and haven’t seen samples of their printing quality, I have gotten a quote from them and printing a hardcover book is quite expensive, one of the most expensive per-unit prices for a US-based printer.
The other thing to mention if your client is going to go the print-on-demand route: it will affect the book’s layout so plan accordingly. Most POD companies require that the last page of the book be kept blank for their use, so if you’re going to print a 32 page book, you would actually upload an interior book file with 31 pages of content. This will prevent any additional blank pages from being added to the book.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
@mag I didn't catch that it was supposed to be wide (I figured most book pages would be taller than wider I guess). I don't think I can crop it, I really filled the page but I will see if I can make it work.
Yep, it's posted on the www.critiquearena.com website
THIS MONTHS CHALLENGE!
Our Fairy Tale Traveler is in a situation!
For this month’s prompt, your mission is to draw our Fairy Tale Traveler in an environment, in a situation. The enemy is coming down the road and now our traveler must decide whether to face the adversary, flee or hide. How will our traveler get out of this situation??
In March, we designed a Fairy Tale Traveler. In April, we designed an inn for our weary traveler to sleep for the night. And this month, we are creating a full page illustration featuring our traveler.
For this challenge, the image must be a full page illustration, and the dimensions must be 9.5 inches high x 10.5 inches wide.
Just to clarify: don't worry if you haven't submitted in the previous Fairy Tale Traveler contests, you can still do this prompt! Just treat it as if it's a stand alone prompt