Today, a guest blog by J. D. Holiday:
When I first started out, I found many challenges in being both the author and illustrator of children's books. I self-published after many years of trying to get published the traditional way. Though doing my own artwork was not something I found easy, I wrote for twenty-five years without doing the illustrations for two reasons. The first was traditional publishers told authors in those days (and still tell them) that if authors did their own illustrations that they, the publishers, might not want the book. Publishers reasoned they might like the stories but not the pictures—which would make them reject the book entirely. Secondly, I didn’t feel confident enough to do my own art work because to that date, I had painted for fun and enjoyment.
It took me some time to get to the point in a painting where I felt that the painting was heading in the right direction. Also, it took me a while to work with digital art programs to do whole paintings that way. Previously, I used my paint programs for touch ups to my drawings and paintings.
Now, my being the author and the illustrator is actually helpful in putting the story together. Doing both allows me to easily move back and forth between the story and the pictures. I can easily revise the story line and the paintings to match. Once I let myself go and commit to doing the art work myself, being both the author and illustrator became an asset.
Since I am the artist, too, I don‘t have to worry who will do the drawings and paintings for my books. Nor will I have to split the money made on the sales of my books with someone else. I alone have the satisfaction that comes from doing it all and having a good product.