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      I always remember as a kid being pretty good at telling stories and coming up with ideas right out of my head. I think in composition class in grade school writing some pretty wild and funny stories. I guess it was some kind of skill I developed as a kid and that's why I thought I'd also be good to write and illustrate children's stories.
      This drawing here to the left was actually done in crayon and ink. I didn't do it for a children's illustration class, but for an originality class instead. What's so unique about it ? I guess the fact it was done in crayon.
      I remember taking a semester of children's literature and a two semesters of children's illustration at the School of Visual Arts. I can't say the literature did too much for me, sure, it did open me up to tons of stories and see styles and history and even understand storytelling. But it was really the children's illustration class that did it for me.
      I know my first semester was up & down. I didn't really make a mark on any assignment and felt a little lost as to how to work my drawings into a story. To be honest, I kind of sucked at it. And then for the winter break, the teacher assigned optional homework. The theme was "winter reading", design an idea for a poster to promote reading in schools. I guess there was supposed to be one for every season or something like that. Anyways, second semester came and about half people from the first semester had dropped the class. The people who were left really wanted to be there. Then I remember putting my drawing up with everyone else's and I guess it all kind of came together.
      This drawing, after working on it solely in colored pencil, (my medium of choice), I was suggested to learn some watercolors and redo the drawing and work both mediums together. I'm not sure where the second one is, it did look better, but I still kind of preferred the look of the colored pencil drawing for the texture.
      I know I didn't get a computer until at least two years since I was out of school. At first, I got a paint program with a drawing tablet and it worked out kind of nicely. Not necessarily as conveniant because adjusting to drawing on the screen and all these controls and commands. It just kind of took away the person from the drawing I guess. It became more technical than natural and kind of difficult to work with at times. Now, I have a scanner and I just go crazy with it all the time. I definitely get so much more out of it. But at that time, with the pen tablet, I did a few simple drawings for practice and keeping with the winter theme I decided to do seasons of the year. I only got through two.
      After a while as with everything else, I think I just got more creative on potential ideas for children's stories. Some of them stemmed from characters, others just from titles and wordplay. I know there were so many more ideas to mention than the one's here, but I guess I just decided to hold a few out.
      Ideas came out of anything, and I could always put together a fun story about the craziest stuff and then sometimes put it aside because I'd think no children's publisher in their right mind would ever want to publish it. A few times, I was right, where I submitted, dropped off or presented some of my art or stories to publishers, well... they just didn't go for it. For the most part though, I never really invested heavy duty time to see if they eventually would.
      If you take a look at the links below, you'll find some potential children's stories that might have gotten more attention than others. Don't let the look of the cover turn you off.
the mailman story     the restaurant story     another christmas story     alien abduction story     wild west monkey

© 2002 g.hernandez