After I had enjoyed that perfect moment – when I looked at the illustrations and revelled in the excitement and relief that they were perfect – came the reality: I had to keep working on this project if it was ever going to become more than a collection of beautiful pictures. So it was onto the next step… graphic design!
Working with Child Writes had introduced me to Michelle Von Pein – graphic designer extraordinaire! She agreed to work with me on Slow Down Sarah!, and we sat down together to get a feel for style, font and colours. We worked together until we were satisfied with the front cover, and then Michelle set to work waving her magic wand over the remainder of the book.
Michelle had the wonderful idea of working the text very creatively – making it pop up and down, bolding, capitalising and using italics, to express the emotions and symbolism in the words. I liked the idea and how it worked. We also thought it would add to the enjoyment of both children and adults when the book was being shared.
There was also the matter of having the illustrations photographed so they could be used in digital form. We’d tried scanning the images on commercial drum scanners, but the image quality was horrible. So we figured having the images photographed was the next logical step. Enter the beautiful and oh-so-talented Nicole Barralet from Nicole Barralet Photography, the creator of many of my and my friends gorgeous personal photography portraits. While Nicole was no stranger to product shots, doing a children’s picture book was a new concept for her, but she stepped in and saved the day beautifully.
By this time, I had also been in discussion with a printing agent. The choice wasn’t difficult, as we’d used this agent without difficulty in the creation of Emma’s and my book, Child Writes: Creating a Children’s Picture Book is Child’s Play. Lionel Marz, of Red Planet Print Management, was extremely helpful and professional, and their quote was competitive. So, when the images were done, Michelle completed the file, and off it went to the agent for printing of a proof.
All in all, things were progressing nicely, and I waited in hopeful and expectant anticipation for a beautiful proof and the ability to check the book off my to do list.