Tuesday, July 12, 2016

You're Joking!

This project has been a long time in the making so I am very excited to announce the publication of You're Joking: Animal Jokes for Children.  The idea for this book began because my sister-in-law, May Farnsworth, and her 5-year-old daughter love to tell each other jokes.  They began playing a game where her daughter would tell her the name of an animal and May would come up with a joke.  When they went to the bookstore to look for books with jokes they could only find books full of text with no illustrations.  That is when May contacted me with the idea to make our own illustrated joke book.

I began work on the book about five years ago.  The illustration process probably took me a little over one year, fitting it in between my freelance work.  To me, the most interesting part of making these illustrations was seeing how my simple sketches could be worked into full color finished work.  Here are a few examples.

Skunk Sketches

Skunk outlined in Illustrator

Skunk shading in Photoshop

As you can see I start with a very simple sketch which I scan and bring into Illustrator.  Once in Illustrator I trace my sketch to outline all of the forms.  Then each leg, arm, head, nose, ear, etc. is brought into Photoshop in a different layer where I do the shading to complete the final illustration.  It is a tedious process but I love the soft, subtle shading you can do in Photoshop.

Pig Sketch

Pig sketch outlined in Illustrator

Shaded version done in Photoshop

The final book includes 30 pages of illustrated jokes and a "Did You Know" section with fun facts about each animal in the book. You're Joking features everything from hungry jellyfish to fancy flies to playful armadillos.  This book is perfect for the young reader interested in telling jokes and learning puns, and/or the budding biologist (not to mention those who just love beautifully illustrated books).  

The book is now available at Amazon.com or Black Rose Publications.  I would greatly appreciate any help in spreading the word about our new book.  Also, if you feel so inclined, please leave a review on Amazon.

If I have any words of wisdom out there for someone who wants to write, publish, or illustrate their own children's book, it is to "BE TENACIOUS".  Keep working at it, keep sending it out, and above all...make it happen in some way, shape or form. (Oh, and also try and have "pun" while your at it!)

If you would like to see more of my work visit my blog Nessy Designs or my website www.vanessasorensen.com.

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