Well as of yesterday I've done it- finished the last Little Mates book.
Packed up- and headed home.
Still slightly in fear of an email asking for changes to the pages- but I figure its too late for that- it has to be for print in a few days.
Hopefully however , when they are released as a set of 26 in November it will all sell alright.
At least we know there won't be anything similar - you'd be absolutely crazy to try.
Actually advance copies of X and W arrived just before I finished- which was good because I was flagging pretty badly so close to the finish. W loooks quite funny- a little dark- but I think they always make adjustments to the print and fix that sort of thing for the proper run of books. X seems a little rough in backgrounds- but theres a fair bit of extra detail - so hopefully that cancels out the roughness of the backgrounds. X wasn't very easy to make sense of illustrationwise- so I think I made a good attempt. Some the expressions on the fish in X are pretty funny too-if I do say so myself.
Odd to look at things that you yourself must have done, but they seem unfamiliar- like someone else did them.
Anyway... the books arriving spurred me on.
I'll probably post some images of y and z shortly and the W and X books.
The third wombat book comes out in October- so hopefully that goes well- I'm looking forward to seeing the actual advance copies of the book.
So now what?
Look at the long list of things I wanted to do all of that 3.5 years thats past but couldn't.
Possibly still have to get a real job as I thought I would have to a year ago.
The trouble is- it pays so little to do a book you can't keep doing it even if you'd like to. The only future hope is if I got some overseas deal where the market- and therefore the advance is bigger.
ie- In six months I have done 13.5 books-but still can't make ends meet.
In a way- the only hope of this is for me to do my own book- and so this is the plan.
Also planning to do something graphic novelish or comic-ish.
Which seems a bit counter intuitive- but its sort of double or nothing.
(Definitely nothing moneywise in the short term. )
If I can't get someone else to give me the things I'd like to work on- well don't wait- work on it yourself.
I guess also witnessing the decline of my parents has given me a 'bucket list' mentality at the moment.
The only thing that makes it seem at all feasible to continue is the teaser of CAL money I received this year. I sort of view the CAL money as a kind of disability pension for australian creatives- because clearly you'd have to have a disabling mental condition to continue to attempt to be an illustrator working in childrens books in australia.