My first (non-self)published book was THE GREAT MONTEFIASCO, written by fellow illustrator and author of children's books Colin Thompson, and published by Lothian Books in 2004.
I found this book an enjoyable episode, as well as a big learning experience about publishing and the processes involved.
When starting this book I had only just discovered oil paints, so I decided to do most of the book in oils (the rest being watercolour and collage).
I like oils because I find the process of painting with them relaxing (despite the turpentine fumes). Unlike quick drying mediums like inks and acrylic, with oils there's no pressure to work quickly and subsequently make blunders. I can just fine-tune the image at a snail's pace until I'm pleased with it.
So why do I rarely use oils now? Simple, time. Oil painting is a very time consuming process, and as a result uneconomical. I would love to be doing all my books in oil, but the money in book illustration is, well... crap, and I need to eat. Since doing this book I've evolved far more economical methods of working, so where a book like this would take 6-9 months to complete, my recent books I can get done in 3 or 4. I could possibly work even quicker, but not without it showing in my work.
I was encouraged by a friend to apply for an Arts Qld project grant, and to my amazement I was successful. So that was a definite help in getting this book done over a period of 6 months (however, I don't think this was the first time I applied for a grant, there may have been one or two rejected applications before this for other projects, and I've had many many rejected applications since. But, you gotta throw more than one line out there if you wanna catch something, anything!).
TO BE CONTINUED....