Daniel’s about to be a published children’s picture book illustrator! In fact, Harper Collins has offered him a two book deal to illustrate manuscripts written by Audrey Vernick. The first book will be released Summer 2010 and will be called “Is your Buffalo ready for kindergarten?” and the second is set to launch Summer 2011 and will be called “Teach your Buffalo to play the drums.”
So how did this miracle happen? Well, it all started with SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). We joined a couple of years ago when we first started working on our joint picture book project (still a work in progress). This year we decided to go to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and to SCBWI’s 2 day pre-fair conference. Daniel submitted 3 of his daily drawings (view them here, here and here) to the first look session (a panel of art directors from major publishing houses) and got great feedback. So great that most of the AD’s asked for his card…but because he wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, he didn’t come prepared. All he could give them was a link to his daily drawing blog.
Well, about 3 weeks later, Daniel got a cryptic comment on his blog from Martha Rago, Art Director at Harper Collins. Daniel wrote to her and she said she had a project that needed a fresh, quirky perspective and she’d like to see what he would do with it. Because he doesn’t have any sequential drawings in his portfolio, he would have to illustrate three spreads from the manuscript to prove he could handle it. So he did, sending in his samples at the beginning of May. At the end of July, the good news came – the team at Harper Collins loved his illustrations and they wanted him not only to illustrate the book he “tried out” for but also a second one with the same buffalo character.
And now that he has his foot in the door, and is officially a freelancer (as of today) that can concentrate on illustration, things are really looking up. And we are both on cloud nine.