Almost three weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to do some illustrations for a children's book that she's writing. Of course I was thrilled to be asked and excited about the project. I started to do some sketches of the different animals in the story--a squirrel, birds, foxes, bunnies, etc. Once I got some practice with each of the animals, I got stuck.
Why? Fear mostly. I have really high expectations for this and I'm scared that I won't be able to make something that I love. So what did I do? Nothing mostly. I did more sketches but I didn't move forward.
I think I also had this idea that the project was going to take months. I'm sure it could take that long if I let it, but it doesn't have to. I looked at some of my favorite illustrators and realized that they crank out these kinds of things every week.
I needed to DO THE WORK. So yesterday I sat down with the draft and laid out how many illustrations I need. I made notes about what needs to go in each scene and I started. I made some rough composition sketches for one scene.
The biggest surprise for me? This didn't take me very long. It made me realize that I needed more information about the project before I could move forward. It helped me to see all the little steps involved in this big project. Bottom line: I've got to get over fear and DO THE WORK anyway.