Today I will show you two special books. What is so special about them, I hear you ask- they are only two childern journals. Well, the special about these journals is that these two little girls made me break many of my rules.
To cut the long story short, girls' mom contacted me just before Christmas to ask about a journal for her elder. You know that as a rule I may accept a custom journal if I find a. the client or b. the subject intriguing, but I never ever make journals according to instructions. I charge a higher rate as it is custom work with all the experimenting and design and such, and I allocate a making time of about 3-4 working weeks . I never show my work as it progresses. The customer agrees to accept the finished product and see it when it arrives at his address. Well, most of you as my readers or students, know all the above, as I never cease to stress their importance, if you want to be an artist and not a mass-production worker. In this case I violated every rule and I enjoyed the whole process.
*****Warning: If you do not live with a little girl, you have no idea what I am talking about, so just skip the following *******
The girls, chose their colors and theme. Not just indicated a favorite color and let me build the combos, but asked for specific combinations. They even asked for specific details, such as a heart and birds and butterflies etc. And luckily changed their mind only once.
If you have more that one little girl at home, you already know that it is not wise to give something to one and not to the other. So, I accepted to make two custom journals, in a week's time. And then, I assumed that an owl can "pass" for a bird. You realise that this can only mean disaster - especially when your sister's signature bird is the owl.
I do not dare continue and tell you about the other rules I broke, because I am very near to lose my credibilty over my students, about the artist's set of rules when accepting a commission. I only want to tell you, that the two girls sent me a photo, sitting in front of their tree, holding their pencil cases, waiting for their journals. Even if you never had a little girl at home, your heart would melt at this point.
I had painted this cover for Izzie who asked for birds. But as I told you, I was unaware that Allie's signature bird was the owl, so the cover had to change name and owner.
So, I had to make an other canvas for Izzie. But she is only six and her chosen color pallete very limiting. Only blue, purple and silver, but she wanted birds, butterflies and flowers, all creatures of light and colors. I had to oblige, so I made exactly what she asked. This is the point when I received the photo of the girls with their pencil cases. The moment I opened the photo, I realised that Izzie's cover needed a third remake. Although it had all the elements Izzie had asked for, it simply was not her.
With the new advantage of having a face behind the name, I produced this, and this time I think I captured something of little Izzie, in her book
In the meantime, the girls' mom, was anxious and was not sure that she had made the right choice. But she was such a sweet and kind person, and deeply in love with her little artists (exactly like myself with my DD), that she touched a cord.
After all, it seemed that it was right to accept this order. It was proving a highly satisfactory one - one I really enjoyed. I decided that the girls deserved some extra features. So I changed the binding to a sturdier one. I added extra pockets and scrapbook pages, scattered among the sketching paper for extra interest. A closure would be handy, and a bookmark and some ribbon to decorate the spine. Every girl loves sparkle, so I decorated with beads, glitter and charms. I even tested the new Kraft Tex ( a new sturdy material - something in between paper and cloth), for a back cover pocket for each of the girls. And in the meanwhile, I die-cutted. Letters and shapes, hearts and flowers, butterflies and grass, even some boats. A stencil would be useful for the 6 year old, so I designed and cut one with simple elements. After adding scrapbook paper and a pen and a stamp and some glitter, and stickers, to each journal, I realised that all these would not fit to their pancil cases, so I added a journal bag as well.
I know that it seems that I could play and play and play with these journals, but I had to send them to the girls - they were waiting. Fortunatelly, although I had only five working days, I had 11 actual (throwing Christmas and New Year vacation in the count) and DH was sick with the flu, so no family activities. Me and my not-so-little artist (mom I am nearly 11), spent many hours at the studio, Playing with Allie's and Izzie's journals.
Girls, I hope you like them and fill them with your fab art!
Have a fab and happy and artsy new year.